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European stocks plunge most this century after ECB underwhelms

European stocks posted their steepest drop this century as investors already reeling from the U.S. travel ban were left underwhelmed by the European Central Bank’s policy measures to combat the impact of the coronavirus.

Photo: DANIEL ROLAND/AFP / AFP

The Stoxx Europe 600 Index dropped as much as 10% after the ECB’s decision to keep key rates unchanged, while boosting quantitative easing and liquidity tools. All 19 industry groups tumbled at least 9%, the travel and leisure extending its streak as the current sell-off’s biggest loser with a 13% drop.

European stocks have tumbled since last month’s record high, with the global policy response so far inspiring little confidence that the fallout from the spreading virus will be contained.

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