The leading index on the London Stock Exchange (LSE) saw share prices fall for a fifth time in the past six weeks as worldwide financial markets react to COVID-19 cases soaring past one million. The FTSE 100, which measures the share price of the 100 leading companies on the LSE, closed on Friday down 1.18 percent or 65 points since Monday. The value of the pound fell 1.2 percent against the US dollar at 1.224 and was down 0.6 percent verses the euro at 1.134.
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At the close of trading on Wall Street, the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell by 360.91 points, or 1.69 percent.
The huge downturn in the US economy comes after official figures revealed 700,000 US citizens had lost their job in the past month – the largest fall in 11 years.
Europe’s largest markets also slumped, with the German Dax contracting by 0.47 percent, and the French Cac falling by 1.57 percent.
The FTSE 100 has fallen for a fifth week (Image: GETTY)
On Friday the FTSE100 closed down 1.18 percent or 65 points since Monday (Image: GETTY)
Following the close of markets in Europe, IMF managing director, Kristalina Georgieva said the world is experiencing a recession that is “worse” than the global financial crisis in 2008.
At a joint press conference with the head of the World Health Organisation, Ms Georgieva said “This is a crisis like no other, never in the history of the IMF have we witnessed the world economy coming to a standstill.
“We are now in recession. It is way worse than the global financial crisis.
IMF managing director Kristalina Georgieva has declared a global recession (Image: GETTY)
“It is a crisis that requires all of us to come together.
“WHO is there to protect the health of people, the IMF is there protect the health of world economy.”
The coronavirus crisis and the ongoing oil price war have both triggered the global economic downturn.
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Donald Trump has said a breakthrough has been made in the oil price war (Image: GETTY)
In early March, talks over production cuts between Russia and Saudi Arabia collapsed, leading the two world super powers to start a price war that pushed oil prices to their lowest levels in nearly two decades.
On Thursday Donald Trump gave the global economy a much needed glimmer of hope after US President insisted he had made a breakthrough in negotiations between the two nations.
He wrote on Twitter: “Just spoke to my friend MBS (Crown Prince) of Saudi Arabia, who spoke with President Putin of Russia, & I expect & hope that they will be cutting back approximately 10 Million Barrels, and maybe substantially more which, if it happens, will be GREAT for the oil & gas industry!
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“Could be as high as 15 million Barrels, Good (GREAT) news for everyone!”
Following Mr Trump’s comments, the price of a barrel of Brent crude oil increased 11.69 percent to 33.06 US dollars.
On the London Stock Exchange Sainsbury’s, which announced it was relaxing purchasing restrictions, saw one of the biggest increases.
The supermarket saw share prices rise by 8.6p to 213.4p.
Meanwhile, Morrisons rose 6.7p to 185.7p and Tesco rose 5.1p to 223.9p.