European Stocks Close Sharply Lower On Virus Fears, Growth Concerns

(RTTNews) - European stocks closed sharply lower on Thursday as investors pressed sales across the board amid fading hopes of a U.S. stimulus before the presidential election, and fresh lockdown restrictions across Europe due to spikes in cornavirus infections.

Investors were also digesting the latest batch of European and U.S. economic data, and quarterly earnings results, besides following developments on the Brexit front.

The pan European Stoxx 600 tumbled 2.08%. The U.K.'s FTSE 100 slid 1.73%, Germany's DAX fell 2.49% and France's CAC 40 dropped 2.11%, while Switzerland's SMI ended 2.25% down.

Among other markets in Europe, Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, Greece, Ireland, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Russia, Spain and Sweden all ended sharply lower, with their key indices falling 1.4 to 3%. Turkey ended with a moderate loss, while Iceland edged up marginally.

In the UK market, Mondi, Pearson, Burberry Group, Prudential, Royal Dutch Shell, Glencore, Associate British Foods, BT Group, GlaxoSmithKline, Hargreaves Lansdown and Tesco lost 3 to 4.7%.

Among the gainers, Rolls-Royce Holdings moved up nearly 8.5%, rebounding from recent losses. Just Eat Takeaway.Com gained more than 2%. Standard Chartered and HSBC Holdings gained 1.6% and 0.9%, respectively.

In France, Technip shed nearly 6% and Accor lost 5.2%, while Societe Generale, Atos, Legrand, Credit Agricole, Peugeot, Engie, BNP Paribas, Capgemini, Sodexo and LVMH declined 2 to 4%.

Publicis Groupe shares ended lower by about 2% after the company's third-quarter net revenue fell 9.1% to 2.34 billion euros from 2.58 billion euros a year ago.

On the other hand, Unibail Rodamco and Safran ended notably higher.

In the German market, Lufthansa, Wirecard, Fresenius, BASF, Merck, Volkswagen, Daimler, BMW, Thyssenkrupp, Deutsche Post and Adidas lost 2.5 to 5%. Allianz, Siemens, SAP, E.ON, and Munich RE also declined sharply.

In economic news, French consumer prices remained flat in September, final data from the statistical office Insee showed.

Consumer prices remained unchanged on a yearly basis in September, after rising 0.2% in August. The annual rate was revised down from +0.1%. At the same time, core inflation held steady at 0.5% in September.

On a monthly basis, consumer prices fell 0.5%, which was faster than the 0.1% drop seen in August but in line with the initial estimate.

In Covid-19 news, Europe has over 7.2 million confirmed cases of the virus now, 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.

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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