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European stocks tumble on lockdown concerns

by Jonathan Adams
European stocks

Bourses in Europe had a rough session as governments confront a new strain of the virus

European stock markets tumbled Monday amid worries about fresh lockdown to contain the coronavirus pandemic.

Bourses in Europe had a rough session as governments confront a new strain of the virus that has battered Britain.

Renewed lockdowns and restrictive measures globally are dragging down the European bourses, commented Edward Moya, a market analyst at Oanda.

Europe also is dealing with the latest blow to its vaccination campaign, after British-Swedish drug company AstraZeneca warned it will not be able to meet its promised targets on EU shipments — a week after US group Pfizer said it was also cutting delivery volumes.

In the US, stocks finished mostly higher, with the Nasdaq surging to a fourth straight all-time high ahead of earnings reports later in the week from Apple, Facebook and other tech giants.

Wall Street’s tech sector has been outperforming other industrial groups in recent sessions after a period where equities linked to the Covid-19 economic recovery led the market.

Biden on Tuesday signed an executive order giving American companies and products priority in contracting with the federal government, as the new administration attempts to spur domestic manufacturing.

This week’s calendar also includes the Federal Reserve’s first monetary policy announcement of the year, while quarterly results are expected from Boeing and Chevron, among other companies.

Markets also are watching developments in Washington, where centrist lawmakers have responded sceptically to Biden’s proposed $1.9 trillion economic relief package.

In other Covid-19 vaccine developments, Merck pulled the plug on two vaccine candidates following disappointing clinical results, although it said would still pursue therapeutics to treat the deadly virus.

There was some good news as Moderna said lab studies showed its vaccine would remain protective against coronavirus variants first identified in the United Kingdom and South Africa.



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