A currency trader wearing a face mask watches monitors at the foreign exchange dealing room of the KEB Hana Bank headquarters in Seoul, South Korea, Thursday, March 12, 2020. Asian shares plunged Thursday after the World Health Organization declared a coronavirus pandemic and indexes sank on Wall Street. (AP Photo/Ahn Young-joon)

The Latest: European Central Bank announces more stimulus

March 12, 2020 - 9:07 am

NEW YORK (AP) — The Latest on the action in the financial markets (all times local):

9:10 a.m.

The European Central Bank is deploying new stimulus measures to cushion the economic pain inflicted by the virus outbreak.

The central bank decided Thursday to buy up 120 billion euros more in bonds, money that is newly created and injected into the financial system. It is also providing cheap loans to banks to make sure they have the liquidity needed.

It's all aimed at helping businesses get financing and stimulating activity to offset the downturn from all the closings and restrictions due to the virus outbreak.

The 19 countries that use the euro is likely facing a recession this year.

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8:30 a.m.

Shares of companies in the travel sector continue to struggle amid the virus outbreak as demand weakens. President Donald Trump's 30-day ban on most Europeans entering the United States seemed to heighten investors' concerns.

Airline stocks such as Delta, Jet Blue and American Air Lines fell approximately 9% to 15% in premarket trading. In Europe, shares are down roughly 6% to 9% for airlines including Lufthansa, Air France and Ryanair.

Aside from Trump's travel ban, the industry has started to reduce flights and implement hiring freezes as it looks for ways to reduce costs. Many businesses are telling employees not to travel and major sporting events and conference are being canceled or are proceeding with restricted access.

Shares of cruise operators like Carnival and Norwegian Cruise Lines dropped about 10% to 12% before the U.S. market opens, while stocks for hotel companies declined about 5% to 10%.

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8:15 a.m.

Dow Jones futures are down more than 1,000 points as U.S. stock markets brace for more losses Thursday after President Donald Trump's speech on the coronavirus outbreak seemingly failed to ease investors' concerns.

Futures for the Dow Jones Industrial Average were showing a drop of 5%, or 1,194 points. Futures for the S&P 500 declined 5%, or about 138 points.

On Wednesday, the Dow dropped 1,464 points, dragging it 20% below the record set last month and putting the index in a bear market. If the S&P 500 closes down more than 1%, than would put the index in bear market territory and bring an end to the longest bull market in U.S. history.

Overseas markets suffered steep losses. Most stock markets in Asia fell more than 3% and markets in Europe are seeing declines of 6% or more.

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