March 18, 2020 / 8:11 AM / 12 days ago

European shares fall as virus fears outweigh stimulus

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March 18 (Reuters) - European shares tumbled on Wednesday as fears over the relentless global spread of the coronavirus overshadowed sweeping U.S. stimulus measures to support businesses and contain the economic damage from the pandemic.

The pan-European STOXX 600 index was down 1.9% at 0804 GMT, with bourses in London and Germany leading declines.

The benchmark index had closed up more than 2% on Tuesday as Spain announced a bumper stimulus plan to combat the economic shock of the coronavirus, but global equities fell again on Wednesday as concerns over the virus’ impact on corporate finances returned to the forefront.

JP Morgan analysts said on Wednesday the crushing blow to the airline industry from a virtual halt in global travel would trickle down to the European civil aerospace, sending shares of MTU Aero Engines plunging 15%. (Reporting by Sagarika Jaisinghani in Bengaluru; Editing by Anil D’Silva)

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