Coronavirus clobbers the British pub: Restaurants also hit in latest stock market rout
Shares in the UK’s biggest pubs and restaurants tumbled on another day of panic selling on stock markets around the world.
As fears over the impact of coronavirus mounted, brewer Marstons and Wagamama owner The Restaurant Group were among those hardest hit.
Shops, airlines, travel companies and bus and train operators were also hammered with nine stocks in the FTSE 100 and 250 falling by more than 30 per cent in a single session.
As fears over the impact of coronavirus mounted, brewer Marstons and Wagamama owner The Restaurant Group were among those hardest hit
The latest sell-off came as Boris Johnson declared people should start working from home ‘where they possibly can’ and added: ‘You should avoid pubs, clubs, theatres and other such social venues.’
On another day of turmoil on the markets: ■ The FTSE 100 fell as much as 8.7 per cent before closing down 4 per cent, or 215.3 points, at 5151.08;
- The Dow Jones Industrial Average in the US fell 10 per cent, erasing all the gains made since Donald Trump became president in 2017;
- Bank of England governor Andrew Bailey used his first day in the job to promise ‘prompt action’ when needed to cushion the blow to the economy;
- The lockdown in China caused the biggest collapse in industrial production and retail sales on record, raising fears of a global recession;
- Shares in First Group fell by 47.8 per cent while Go -Ahead lost 30.2 per cent as ministers warned that widespread self-isolation would lead to ‘ghost trains’;
- British Airways, Ryanair and EasyJet said they would cancel at least three in four flights leading to further stock market falls;
- The oil price fell more than 10 per cent to below $30 a barrel.
The number of people eating out and drinking in pubs and bars fell by 37 per cent across the weekend, compared with the same period last year.
Hundreds of shops were shut across the UK and Europe as leaders took drastic action to stop the spread of the coronavirus.
France – which surpassed 30 deaths from coronavirus five days ago – has closed non-essential shops and urged people of all ages to stay at home.
In the UK ministers refused to rule out a widespread lockdown of bars, pubs and restaurants, contributing to a rout on the stock market.
The Restaurant Group fell 46.5 per cent, taking its losses in the past four weeks to more than 80 per cent.
Marstons was down 45.2 per cent, City Pub Group lost 34.4 per cent of its value, Mitchell & Butlers fell 32.5 per cent and Young & Co lost 25.7 per cent.
B&Q’s owner Kingfisher announced that 220 of its French stores, which accounted for more than a third of sales last year, would be shut for at least six weeks.
Fashion chain H&M said it had closed stores in 12 countries including Italy, Poland, France and Spain.
Some retailers have decided to close their UK shops ahead of government intervention. Apple, outdoor shop Patagonia, Urban Outfitters and boutique gym Barry’s Bootcamp all closed stores.