March 16, 2020 / 7:10 AM / in 3 months

European stock index futures fall as virus fears build

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March 16 (Reuters) - European stock index futures fell more than 4% on Monday as dramatic monetary easing by global central banks failed to reassure investors that the economic damage from the coronavirus pandemic could be curtailed.

The Fed on Sunday slashed interest rates to near zero and pledged hundreds of billions of dollars in asset purchases, saying the epidemic was having a “profound” impact on the economy.

Central banks in Australia and New Zealand followed with their own measures, but could not stem a slide in global stocks. S&P 500 futures tumbled 4.77% to their daily down limit.

Euro Stoxx 50 futures were off 4.2% at 0700 GMT, while German DAX futures shed 4.5%.

French and Spanish slumped 4.7% and 3.7%, respectively, as the two countries joined Italy in enforcing a national lockdown. (Reporting by Sagarika Jaisinghani in Bengaluru; Editing by Anil D’Silva)

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