Jump in Europe virus cases hits shares after sharp weekly rally

13 November, 2020

Europe's benchmark stock index fell on Friday, setting up to end its second straight week of gains on a glum note, as surging coronavirus cases compounded fears of the damage to the bloc’s economy in the coming winter months.

The pan-European STOXX 600 was down 0.3% by 0805 GMT after jumping earlier this week on optimism around a working COVID-19 vaccine. The index has gained about 12% in the past two weeks, also buoyed by hopes of calmer global trade under U.S. President-elect Joe Biden.

France’s CAC 40 index lost 0.1% as Prime Minister Jean Castex said there would be no immediate easing of a second COVID-19 lockdown, with the number of hospitalisations now higher than at the peak of the first wave.

The energy index led declines, falling 1.4% with banking and travel stocks also dropping more than 0.8% in early trading. In company news, French power group EDF fell 0.3% after reporting a decline in third-quarter revenue as the COVID-19 pandemic sapped electricity demand and weighed on nuclear energy output in France.


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