London shares were hit by the coronavirus spreading as the blue-chip FTSE 100 fell 1.9 percent and the mid-cap index lost 1.3 percent on Thursday. London's main index has thus fallen five of the past six sessions, as European countries continue to report new cases of the coronavirus.

At the same time, stocks in Europe slid around 2 percent in Frankfurt, Paris, and Milan.

The situation in Europe deteriorated earlier this week after an outbreak in Italy, with at least 332 cases of the infection confirmed by authorities. Soon afterwards, several countries, including Austria, Croatia, Switzerland, Norway, and Denmark, confirmed their first cases of the virus. At the moment, the disease has infected 81,000 people worldwide with the death toll now over 2,700.