European Shares Extend Losses As Virus Cases Surge

(RTTNews) - European stocks fell for a third day running on Thursday as surging coronavirus infections across Europe as well as tightened restrictions to battle the second wave of infections dampened the prospects for economic recovery.

Europe now has over 7.2 million confirmed cases of the virus, according to the World Health Organization.

The European Commission warned today that EU governments were unprepared for the new surge of Covid-19 infections and urged states to adopt a common strategy for the new phase of the pandemic.

"While the evolution of the pandemic is getting back to March levels, our state of preparedness is not," the EU executive's vice-president Margaritis Schinas said.

Fading hopes for more U.S. fiscal stimulus before the presidential election, rising U.S.-China tensions and worries over Brexit talks also dented investors' appetite for risk.

The pan European Stoxx 600 fell 2.3 percent to 362.21 and headed toward its biggest drop in three weeks.

The German DAX lost 2.9 percent, France's CAC 40 index shed 2.3 percent and the U.K.'s FTSE 100 was down 2.2 percent.

Banks Commerzbank, BNP Paribas and Credit Agricole fell 3-5 percent, tracking a decline in bond yields.

Italy's Banco BPM rose about 2 percent after it signed a non-disclosure agreement to explore a potential tie-up with France's Credit Agricole.

Swiss drug maker Roche Group declined 2.6 percent after reporting a fall in third-quarter sales.

Chemicals and biotechnology company Lonza Group advanced 1.6 percent after it forecast double-digit sales growth as part of its 2023 group guidance.

Medical and safety technology provider Draegerwerk AG & Co. KGaA rose more than 3 percent after its preliminary EBIT for the third quarter significantly increased to 127 million euros from last year's 9.3 million euros, reflecting a higher net sales volume and a higher gross profit margin.

French advertising company Publicis Groupe gave up 2.7 percent after its third-quarter net revenue fell 9.1 percent to 2.34 billion euros from 2.58 billion euros a year ago.

Budget carrier Ryanair shed 3 percent after it cut the number of its winter flights by a third because of Covid flight restrictions across the EU.

BP Plc fell 4.6 percent and Royal Dutch Shell gave up 4.5 percent as oil prices fell over 2 percent on rising concerns about the global economic outlook.

Jet engine maker Rolls-Royce Holdings fell over 1 percent after it priced an offering of three tranches of senior unsecured notes denominated in U.S. dollars, euros and sterling.

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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