New Zealand Markets close in 6 hrs 14 mins

Markets: Airbus boosts Europe amid virus nerves

In a week of downsides for global markets, Airbus was one of the ups.

The planemaker has settled corruption probes in the U-S and Europe.

The news helped settle the mood on European bourses in early trade, after they suffered their worst day in some four months on Monday.

But - amid continuing fears over China's coronavirus outbreak - that was about as good as it got.

Luxury stocks - badly hit because of their heavy exposure to Chinese demand - reversed early gains to continue their slide.

Software maker SAP fell around 2.5 per cent despite an upbeat outlook ...

And within hours of the start, a negative tone was again descending on most bourses.

As it had already done in Asia.

The Nikkei - down nearly one per cent at one point - closed 0.6 per cent lower.

MSCI's broadest index of the region outside of Japan slumped 0.8 percent.

And in South Korea, the Kospi sank 3 per cent.

The government there taking steps to prevent the coronavirus spreading, according to finance minister Hong Nam-Ki.

(SOUNDBITE) (Korean) SOUTH KOREA'S FINANCE MINISTER, HONG NAM-KI, SAYING:

"The government will make all out efforts by mobilizing all policy power to secure citizens' safety and minimize its impact on the economy until the concerns over the new coronavirus infection are completely over."

Oil remained under pressure on concerns the virus could dent demand.

And the dollar was driven to 8-week highs by safe haven flows.

The economic impact on China itself, say traders, is the next big question.

An unknown as yet as hard to get a handle on as the potential spread of the virus itself.