European shares slumped in opening trade this morning as the rapid spread of a new strain of the coronavirus led to a more stringent lockdown in England and a travel ban from many countries, while a Brexit trade deal still hung in the balance.
More than £33 billion was wiped off the FTSE 100 within minutes of opening in London this morning.
The FTSE dropped more than 2% over fears of a no-deal Brexit and new coronavirus restrictions.
The Dublin market had slumped 2.8% in opening trade, with shares in Ryanair sinking 6% in the first few minutes of trade.
Markets in Paris dropped 2.7% in opening trade, while shares in Frankfurt fell 2.2%.
Canada as well as European neighbours, including Ireland, Germany, Italy and the Netherlands, ordered a suspension of flights from Britain, while France’s ban also included freight carriers, whether by road, air, sea or rail.
Travel and leisure stocks shed 5.5% and were on course for their worst day in three months.
Oil majors also led losses in Europe as new restriction spurred worries about a hit to demand and weighed on crude prices.
Shares in Aer Lingus owner IAG sank 16%, while shares in Air France KLM and Channel Tunnel operator Getlink also saw steep losses this morning.