Saturday 21 March 2020 9:26 am

Wall Street suffers worst week since 2008 as US imposes coronavirus restrictions

Wall Street saw further losses on Friday to continue the recent rout as it suffered its worst week since the financial crisis of 2008.

The S&P 500 and Dow Jones indexes were down more than four per cent on Friday despite making gains earlier on.

Read more: Coronavirus wage bailout: Government to cover 80 per cent of workers’ salaries up to £2,500

All three major indexes registered their biggest weekly declines since October 2008.

On Friday the Dow fell by 913.21 points, or 4.6 per cent, to close at 19,173.98, while the S&P closed down 4.3 per cent, or 271.06 points, while the Nasdaq slid almost 3.8 per cent.

It came as New York state joined California and other states across the US in ordering all non-essential workers stay at home to contain the spread of the coronavirus.

However, the indices had started the day up, following on from Thursday’s gains.

The market attempted to build on those gains as global policymakers turned on all the taps to prop up financial markets after four weeks of heavy selling that ended Wall Street’s record 11-year bull run. 

But investors were rocked during the afternoon as coronavirus fears grew throughout the afternoon.

Read more: Deutsche Bank warns of material impact from coronavirus pandemic

Both the S&P and Dow Jones plunged more than 3 per cent minutes after the World Health Organization warned that world health systems were “collapsing” under the strain of the pandemic.

Hopsitals in Italy and Spain in particular have been placed under huge strain in recent days as the number of cases continues to climb.

Meanwhile, in the US the number of coronavirus cases has risen sharply.

There are now more than 17,000 positive cases and some of the worst-affected states have gone into lockdown, with more than 75m across the country told to stay at home.

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