Last Updated: 24 Sep 2020 10:29 PM

Coronavirus: FTSE tumbles as world stock markets are hit by global spread of disease – latest updates

Nigeria, New Zealand and Lithuania report first cases as WHO says epidemic could get ‘out of control’. Follow live news

European stock markets have, as we feared, tumbled at the start of trading. The FTSE 100 index of the biggest UK-listed companies has hit its lowest level since December 2008.

It’s down a further 2.8%, or 188 points, at 6607. That means it’s lost about 10% of its value this week. We’ve not seen such a slump since since the eurozone crisis of 2011, and the financial crisis more than a decade ago.

Global stocks have entered correction territory and it’s now that we can start to consider the market is entering the period of peak fear.

Guardian US reporter Amanda Holpuch writes about the unique challenges the US might face in tackling the coronavirus:

The US health agency overseeing coronavirus has told Americans that to curb the inevitable spread of the respiratory illness, they only need to take simple steps: wash your hands, stay home from work if you feel sick and speak to a doctor if you have symptoms of the disease.

But in the US healthcare system, things are never as simple as they seem. From the cost of healthcare to the lack of guaranteed paid sick days in the US, experts say containing the coronavirus requires systemic change beyond more people washing their hands.

Related: Low-income Americans most at risk of coronavirus, experts say

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