In America the Dow lost 3.43 percent whilst the S&P saw 3.53 percent of its value shaved off. Japan’s Nikkei 225 performed better only falling by 0.26 percent. At the end of trading on Wednesday the FTSE 100 was at a six month low with Wall Street also experiencing a major rout.
Wednesday saw French president Emmanuel Macron announce a second month long national lockdown in response to a surge in COVID-19 cases.
Under the rules people will only be allowed to leave their homes for “essential journeys”.
Additional restrictions have also been announced in Germany and Spain.
FOLLOW OUR LIVE UPDATES HERE:
11.35am update: Expert comments on choppy markets
European stocks and commodity markets struggled to stabilise on Thursday after fresh lockdowns were announced.
The pan-European STOXX 600 was up only 0.1 percent and though Frankfurt’s DAX was up 0.5 percent, it was firmly on course for an 8 percent weekly drop which will be the steepest since the initial COVID panic of March.
“What I think has changed in the last few days is the significant spikes in the virus in Europe and the US, especially the US,” said Kempen Capital Management’s Chief Investment Officer Nikesh Patel.
As a result, “the W-shaped scenario for the economy has now become consensus in the market” rather than one where economies broadly stabilise.
10.45am update: FTSE slightly up
The FTSE-100 index at 10:45am was up 18.10 at 5600.90.
9.00am update: Currency latest
The pound at 9am was 1.2993 dollars compared to 1.2974 dollars at the previous close.
The euro at 9am was 0.9028 pounds compared to 0.9054 pounds at the previous close.
8.15am update: FTSE drops on open
The FTSE-100 index at 8:15am was down 4.69 at 5578.11.
6.00am update: Asian stock markets slump over COVID fears
Asian stock markets lost ground on Thursday as the number of coronavirus cases continues to surge in Europe and North America.
Japan’s Nikkei fell by 0.8 percent whilst the Hong Kong, Shanghai and Sydney markets all fell by less than 1.5 percent.
It followed an overnight rout which saw the Dow fall by 3.43 percent.