European markets react to multi-billion dollar stimulus pledges

European markets opened lower Wednesday, despite Western governments promising to unleash billions of dollars to help businesses and citizens get through the coronavirus pandemic.

The pan-European Stoxx 600 fell 2.7% at the start of trading, travel and leisure stocks dropping 4% to lead losses as all sectors and major bourses slid into negative territory.

Global markets are reacting to multi-billion dollar pledges from various governments to help the economy during the coronavirus outbreak.

On Tuesday, the White House said it is seeking a stimulus package worth anywhere from $850 billion to more than $1 trillion as the Trump administration looked to battle the economic impact from the coronavirus pandemic.

“It’s going to be big, it’s going to be bold,” President Trump said Tuesday morning of the potential stimulus package, without disclosing its size.

Potentially $250 billion of the package could go toward making direct payments Americans, a White House official told The Wall Street Journal on Tuesday. Mnuchin said earlier Tuesday that the administration wants to get emergency funds in Americans’ pockets “immediately.”

Elsewhere on Tuesday, the U.K. announced a near-$400 billion package to help businesses through the crisis. The government said it would do “whatever it takes” to protect the economy and livelihoods.

Despite stimulus hopes, U.S. stock futures fell to their “limit down” levels in the early hours of the morning, indicating another rocky day on Wall Street. It comes after a stock surge Tuesday, when U.S. markets rebounded from their worst day in more than three decades Monday.

Meanwhile, shares in Asia Pacific were mixed in Wednesday afternoon trade as stocks on Wall Street bounced back overnight on hopes of stimulus as the country grapples with the coronanvirus outbreak.

Australia stocks led losses among the region’s major markets, with the S&P/ASX 200 dropping 4.64% as the majority of sectors fell.

– CNBC’s Kevin Breuninger, Lauren Hirsch and Eustance Huang contributed to this report.

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