European Shares Retreat As Brexit, Covid-19 Worries Weigh

European stocks fell on Thursday, with concerns over surging Covid-19 cases and a stalemate over a post-Brexit trade deal weighing on sentiment.

The World Health Organization said that Europe made up almost half of the world’s four million new coronavirus cases last week, with Austria seeing a 30 percent increase in new cases compared to last week.

Media reports suggested that European leaders are considering no-deal Brexit plans due to the lack of progress on key sticking points.

The Times reported that EU leaders are concerned that businesses and fishing communities will be hit by economic disruption without EU contingency measures to cushion the blow of no-deal.

The pan European Stoxx 600 fell 0.9 percent to 387.21 after gaining 0.4 percent in the previous session. The German DAX and the U.K.’s FTSE 100 dropped around 0.9 percent each, while France’s CAC 40 index was down 0.8 percent.

ABB declined 2.4 percent. The Swiss engineering company said it is exploring all options to offload three business units that generate $1.75 billion in sales.

Low-cost airline Norwegian Air plunged as much as 15 percent after it filed for bankruptcy protection in Ireland.

Commercial real estate company Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield SE gave up 2.6 percent after appointing a new CEO.

Euromoney Institutional Investor gained 2 percent in London. After posting disappointing full-year results, the business and finance information firm said demand for its price reporting and essential market intelligence “remains strong”.

Chemicals maker Johnson Matthey lost nearly 2 percent after posting a significantly lower profit for the first half of the fiscal year.

Postal service and courier company Royal Mail surged 7 percent after raising its annual revenue estimate.

French industrial group Bouygues was moving lower despite raising its outlook for the second half of the year.

Ailing conglomerate ThyssenKrupp plummeted 7 percent as it posted a wider net operating loss in fiscal 2020 and unveiled plans to cut 7,400 jobs over the next three years.

Kion Group, a leading provider of industrial trucks and supply chain solutions, plunged 9 percent after announcing a capital increase.

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