Global stock markets are attempting a fightback after the biggest one day losses seen on the London’s FTSE 100 since the 1987 crash.
The leading UK index surged more than 6% on the open after the carnage of the previous day saw more than £160bn wiped off the value of blue chip stocks as a result of the financial turmoil caused by the mounting COVID-19 crisis.
The London Stock Exchange has also introduced a temporary ban on short-selling of some shares at the request of market watchdogs in Spain and Italy.
Among those on the list where shorting is prohibited are Fiat Chrysler, Campari Group, Ferrari. Piaggio and Juventus Football Club.
Meanwhile, Saga has suspended its cruise operations until 1 May in the face of the mounting coronavirus crisis, at an estimated cost to the company of up to to £15m.
The travel and insurance specialist took the decision following updated government guidance advising people aged 70 and over and those with pre-existing health conditions against going on cruises.
The company said its customer services teams would be in contact with all customers who were due to travel in the next six weeks to refunds or future credit.
“The health and safety of customers and colleagues is our number one priority,” Saga said.
“We have, therefore, made the decision to temporarily suspend operations of our cruises until 1 May 2020.”
The company, which operates ocean and river cruises, said it would seek additional cost savings and cut discretionary
spending to offset the impact of the suspension.
Saga had warned earlier this month that it was seeing a higher level of near-term cancellations for its cruises and
tours due to the epidemic.
However, it added that its insurance business was not expected to be significantly impacted by the virus and has had a
good start to the current financial year.
In response to the growing outbreak, easyJet has announced it will waive flight change fees, for customers wanting to change their travel plans.
The firm said: “Due to the ongoing travel restrictions being implemented as a result of COVID-19, we understand the uncertainty many customers may be facing and so any easyJet customers who wish to change their travel plans can now transfer their flights to alternative dates and/or an alternative destination without a change fee.
“This applies to both existing and new bookings until further notice.”