European and Asian markets tumbled on Friday, and U.S. futures pointed to a continuing sell-off on Wall Street, as investors continued to worry about the potential harm to worldwide economic growth from the coronavirus outbreak.
The slide in Asia and Europe followed a 4.4 percent nose-dive in the S&P 500 index on Thursday, the worst day for American shares since 2011.
In Europe on Friday, the FTSE 100 in Britain fell 3.7 percent, and the DAX in Germany fell 4.3 percent.
In Asia, the Nikkei 225 in Japan closed down 3.7 percent, the KOSPI in South Korea dropped 3.3 percent and the Shanghai Composite in China dropped 3.7 percent.
Oil prices continued a lurching drop, reflecting decreased demand as factories and transportation slow down. Brent crude, the international benchmark, fell as low as $50.05 a barrel. It was above $71 in early January.
Investment bank economists issued increasingly glum predictions of how much the coronavirus outbreak would hurt economies around the world. More than 83,000 people in at least 53 countries have been infected.
More new infections are now being reported daily outside China, where the disease first appeared, than inside the country.
The spread of the virus is starting to affect normal operations at global companies.
On Friday, Baker McKenzie, the law firm based in Chicago, shut its London office, which houses about 1,000 people, after a potential coronavirus case. “Our priority is the health and well-being of our people and our clients,” the firm said. “We have asked our London office employees to work from home for the time being while we are taking precautionary measures.”
The airline group IAG, which owns British Airways and Iberia, said that it expected earnings to be weaker because of the virus, but that it could not give accurate profit guidance for the year because of the uncertainty of the situation.
The Global Business Travel Association said that nearly two-thirds of the members it surveyed had canceled meetings and that most companies in Asia had put a hold on business trips in the region. “It is fundamentally affecting the way many companies are now doing business,” said Scott Solombrino, the group’s chief operating officer and executive director. “If this turns into a global pandemic, the industry may well lose billions of dollars.”
The effect on global corporations could increase the chance of a broader economic slowdown, according to analysts.
“The more countries that are faced with fighting a pandemic, the wider the potential for economic disruption and potential for increased recessionary risks,” Tai Hui, the chief market strategist for Asia at J.P. Morgan Asset Management, said in a research note on Friday.
Keith Bradsher and Alexandra Stevenson contributed reporting.
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