Markets

European Stocks Close Sharply Lower On Virus Jitters

(RTTNews) - European markets plunged sharply on Wednesday amid reports some of the leading countries in the continent are considering fresh lockdown measures to halt the spread of coronavirus cases.

In France, the president is likely to announce a month-long national lockdown following a surge in hospitalizations and deaths due to virus infections.

Germany is also reportedly looking at a partial lockdown effective next week.

A lack of progress in Brexit talks, and the sell-off Wall Street amid uncertainty about the outcome of the upcoming presidential election and a record spike in virus infections added to the woes. The pan European Stoxx 600 tumbled 2.95%. The U.K.'s FTSE 100 plunged 2.55%, Germany's DAX plummeted 4.17% and France's CAC 40 crashed 3.37%, while Switzerland's SMI declined 2.72%.

Among other markets in Europe, Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, Ireland, Iceland, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Russia, Spain, Sweden and Turkey all ended sharply lower, with their benchmark indices falling 2 to 4%.

U.S. President Donald Trump's admission that talks have collapsed for a coronavirus stimulus package before Election Day weighed as well.

Trump told reporters at the White House that the country will get "the best stimulus package ever seen."

In the UK market, Fresnillo, Polymetal International, Informa, Anglo American, Johnson Matthey, Aveva, Taylor Wimpey, Intermediate Capital Group, BAE Systems, 3i Group, M&G and Coca-Cola lost 4 to 7%. Barclays Group, HSBC, Standard Chartered and Royal Bank also ended sharply lower.

In France, Peugeot slipped more than 4% after reporting a fall in third-quarter revenue and said it expects the European car market to drop 25% in 2020.

Renault, Atos, Unibail Rodamco, BNP Paribas, Valeo, Societe Generale, Technip, Publicis Groupe, Cap Gemini, STMicroElectronics, Credit Agricole, LVMH and Sodexo lost 4 to 8%.

In the German market, Infineon Technologies, Covestro, Beiersdorf, Siemens, Adidas, Dalmier, BMW, Volkswagen, SAP, Lufthansa and HeidelbergCement lost 4 to 8%. BASF shares lost over 6% after the company swung to a net loss of 2.12 billion euros ($2.50 billion) in the third quarter.

In economic news, data released by Destatis showed Germany's import prices dropped at a faster pace in September, falling by 4.3% year-on-year, after sliding 4% in August, due to a sharp slide in energy prices. On a monthly basis, import price growth improved to 0.3% from 0.1%.

French consumer confidence weakened slightly in October, monthly survey results from the statistical office Insee showed. The consumer confidence index dropped to 94.0 from 95.0 in the previous month. The indicator continued to stay below the long-term average of 100.0.

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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