Stock markets subdued tracking virus, data

Sun Online Desk

15th February, 2020 02:28:35 printer

Stock markets subdued tracking virus, data

European stock markets were subdued Friday as official data showing Europe’s largest economy Germany had zero growth in the last quarter of 2019, reports AFP.

Asian indices earlier closed mixed as traders struggled to work out if the coronavirus outbreak in China was worse than being reported by authorities.

Meanwhile, Wall Street opened with modest gains.

A dramatic rise in the number of deaths and new cases of the virus on Thursday fuelled global suspicions that Beijing was concealing the true scale of the illness.

Europe’s largest economy Germany meanwhile marked time in the fourth quarter of 2019 as its export-oriented industry’s woes continued to weigh on growth, official data showed Friday.

Gross domestic product (GDP) was flat quarter-on-quarter in October-December, said federal statistics authority Destatis.

Looking ahead into 2020, the rebound many observers were hoping for in the first half of the year will likely be pushed back by the effects of the novel coronavirus COVID-19.

The death toll from China’s virus epidemic neared crossed 1500 till Saturday.

Market focus Friday was also on company earnings, with Nissan’s share price diving nearly ten percent, warning that the impact from the epidemic was not yet included in the figures.

Shares in Royal Bank of Scotland slumped 6.0 percent as a weak outlook offset bumper 2019 profits.