FTSE 100 suffers worst week since 2008 financial crisis amid coronavirus fears

The blue-chip index fell more than 11% this week, with more than £200 billion in value wiped off UK shares as coronavirus fears rise.

The FTSE 100 has suffered its sharpest decline since the 2008 financial crisis this week, with the index down more than 11% as investors grow increasingly concerned about the impact of the coronavirus outbreak.

The blue-chip index fell 215 points and closed 3% lower on Friday, with more than £200 billion wiped off shares on the FTSE 100 this week.

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US stocks continue their descent

Across the Atlantic, US stocks continue their descent on Friday, as coronavirus fears amplify, with the Dow Jones and S&P 500 also on course to record their worst weekly performance since the 2008 financial crisis.

The Dow has fallen by more than 3200 points this week, down 11%. Meanwhile the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq Composite have fallen more than 320 (-10%) and 680 (-7%) respectively.

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Gold prices expected to rise amid global sell-off

Safe haven investments like gold are expected to rise in response to the sell-off in global equities, with analysts from Bank of America believing the precious metal could rally as high as $2000 an ounce - though opted to leave their official target price unchanged at $1700.

Gold is trading at $1582 at the time of publication, climbing more than 3% over the last 30 days. However, the precious metal saw a sharp decline on Friday, though analysts remain bullish and believe prices will rebound.

‘It is worth keeping in mind that our bullish base case outlook is not necessarily predicated on the Wuhan virus,’ Michael Widmer precious metals analyst at Bank of America Securities said. ‘Indeed, we believe that the yellow metal is supported by several structural, i.e., longer-term, dynamics.’

In his opinion factors outside of the coronavirus, particularly a ‘de-globalisation’ movement, will continue to weigh on global economic growth and help support gold prices.

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