European stocks plunge due to lockdown concerns

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European stocks plunge due to lockdown concerns




Archive image of a woman walking in front of the Stock Exchange in Milan


© Reuters / Flavio Lo Scalzo
Archive image of a woman walking in front of the Stock Exchange in Milan


Por Sagarika Jaisinghani

Oct 15 (Reuters) – European stocks slumped on Thursday as COVID-19 cases resurfaced on the continent and hopes for more fiscal stimulus in the United States faded ahead of the presidential election, slowing demand for shares in the world.

* The pan-European STOXX 600 Index fell 2.1% on its worst day in more than three weeks. Auto, insurance and energy stocks were down more than 2%.

* Bank stocks followed the decline in bond yields, ignoring signs of a pick-up in M&A activity after a report said Bank BPM of Italy and Credit Agricole of France had signed a deal confidentiality as a first step towards a possible merger.

* “Investors are baffled by what is happening with COVID-19 and how that is negatively impacting jobs and the ability of many companies to succeed,” said Russ Mold, chief investment officer at AJ Bell.

* “It is becoming increasingly clear that the pandemic could still be ongoing until 2021 and therefore the economic outlook has become even more bleak.”

* Stock markets in France, Italy, Spain and Germany fell between 1.4% and 2.8%.

* The UK’s FTSE 100 fell 1.7% after the government imposed tighter restrictions in London, as investors looked for signs of progress towards a Brexit trade deal at the two-day European Union summit that began Thursday.

(Report by Sagarika Jaisinghani in Bengaluru; Edited in Spanish by Javier López de Lérida)

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