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FTSE 100 Down Over 4% On Virus Worries

U.K. stocks fell sharply on Monday as fears of a global recession loomed and the U.S. Senate failed to agree on a $1trillion-plus coronavirus response bill.

Several countries across the world are putting their citizens on lockdown to fight the spread of coronavirus pandemic, which has claimed over 14,000 lives worldwide with more than 325,000 infections.

The benchmark FTSE 100 slumped 240 points, or 4.63 percent, to 4,951 after closing 0.8 percent higher in the previous session.

Shares of ITV Plc tumbled almost 10 percent. The media company withdrew its market guidance for 2020, citing uncertainty related to the COVID-19 situation.

Similarly, shares of IWG nosedived 18 percent. The operator of co-work and workspace companies said it is too early to provide earnings guidance for the remainder of the current financial year due to the evolving nature of the coronavirus pandemic.

Royal Dutch Shell declined 2.6 percent as it announced a series of initiatives to cut underlying operating costs and reduce cash capital expenditure.

Aggreko gave up nearly 4 percent. The flexible power supplier said it doesn't believe it is possible to retain its 2020 guidance.

Associated British Foods plunged 5.4 percent after it projected a loss of around 650 million pounds of net sales per month due to the closure of all Primark stores due to Covid-19 pandemic.

Pearson shares fell over 10 percent. The publishing and education company, in its update on current trading and the impact of COVID-19, announced closure of majority of Pearson VUE test centres from now until the middle of April.

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