Stock brokers work at the stock exchange in Frankfur
Paris - AFP
- European stocks markets fell on Wednesday, extending the previous day's sharp losses caused by weak economic growth forecasts and the spreading Ebola crisis.
London's benchmark FTSE 100 index fell 0.47 percent to stand at 6,465.20 points approaching midday in the British capital.
Frankfurt's DAX index lost 0.73 percent to 9,020.08 points and the CAC 40 index in Paris slid 0.68 percent to 4,180.66.
Spain's IBEX 35 index gave up 0.52 percent after tumbling 2.0 percent on Tuesday when the country's government had confirmed that a 40-year-old nurse contracted the Ebola virus while treating patients in a Madrid hospital.
In Paris shares in conglomerate Bollore, with big transportation and port interests in West Africa, fell 9.99 percent to 371.75 euros owing to concern about the economic impact of Ebola.
"Equity markets remain on the back foot ... after a torrid session in the US when growth fears saw indices tumble rapidly," said Chris Beauchamp, market analyst at IG trading group.
"A warning from the IMF about the global economy provides a handy excuse for a selloff even if the body’s record for economic predictions, especially where the UK is concerned, is not particularly stellar.
"Positive momentum from Friday’s (US) non-farm payrolls failed to hold into the new week, and the gap between job numbers and the start of earnings season has allowed investors to, again, focus on their fear that the world economy is headed for another slump," he added.
Asian stock markets mostly ended lower on Wednesday following a US and European sell-off that came in response to more weak German data and the IMF's decision to cut its growth forecast for the global economy.
Shares across Europe and on Wall Street had fallen on Tuesday after the International Monetary Fund lowered its 2014 global growth estimate -- to 3.3 percent from 3.4 percent tipped in July -- warning of stagnation in advanced economies.
It also forecast 2015 growth of 3.8 percent, against 4.0 percent previously.
The IMF warned that the world economy faced increased risks from the crisis in Ukraine, ongoing Middle East woes and the spread of Ebola. The damaged inflicted by the economic crisis that began in 2008 is "proving tougher to resolve", especially in Europe, it added.
European leaders have meanwhile boosted emergency measures to tackle the Ebola outbreak after the nurse became the first person to contract the disease outside of Africa, raising fears of wider contagion.
The worst-ever outbreak of the disease has killed nearly 3,500 people in west Africa since the start of the year.
The Ebola epidemic could deal a $32.6 billion blow to the West African economy over the next year if officials cannot get it under control, the World Bank warned.
In Zurich, shares in Swisscom surged 3.75 percent to 553 Swiss francs on press rumours that the telecom group might sell its Italian subsidiary Fastweb to British giant Vodaphone.
In Paris, stock in nuclear power group Areva fell by 3.23 percent to 11.25 euros after the company announced it would cut investment and sell more assets to strengthen its finances.
The European single currency fell to $1.2657 from $1.2667 late in New York on Tuesday.
The euro rose to 78.76 British pence from 78.70 pence on Tuesday, while the pound dropped to $1.6069 from $1.6094.
The price of gold climbed to $1,218.20 an ounce on the London Bullion Market, from $1,210.50 on Tuesday.