European stocks were sharply lower Monday as investors focus on the continuing spread of the coronavirus and watch as Italy grapples with the largest outbreak outside of Asia.
The pan-European Stoxx 600 plunged 3.5% by mid-morning, with travel and leisure stocks tumbling 5.7% to lead losses as all sectors slid sharply into the red.
Coronavirus concerns continue to dominate headlines and in Europe, and there are widespread concerns over the spread of the virus in northern Italy. A fourth person infected with the coronavirus died in Italy on Monday, a regional official said, and more than 130 cases have been reported there since Friday. The government has placed a dozen towns in the north under quarantine and closed down schools, museums and cinemas while other public events, including soccer matches, have been cancelled and the Venice Carnival cut short.