Markets

European markets close mixed as coronavirus concerns linger; NMC Health up 32%

Key Points
  • The pan-European Stoxx 600 closed provisionally marginally higher, with sectors and major bourses pointing in different directions.
  • China’s National Health Commission said Monday that the death toll from the coronavirus outbreak had reached 908 in mainland China.
  • China released its January inflation data on Monday, with its producer price index up 0.1% and consumer prices rising 5.4% year-on-year.

European markets closed mixed Monday amid ongoing concerns around the coronavirus outbreak in China.

The pan-European Stoxx 600 closed provisionally marginally higher, with sectors and major bourses pointing in different directions. Oil and gas stocks fell over 1% to lead losses while construction shares were the top gainers adding 0.6%.

Investors monitored the economic impact of China's coronavirus epidemic. The country's National Health Commission said on Monday that the death toll from the outbreak had now reached 908 in mainland China, with 97 fatalities reported on Sunday. The total number of confirmed infections across China hit 40,171, authorities said.

China released its January inflation data on Monday, with its producer price index up 0.1% and consumer prices rising 5.4% year-on-year. Consumer prices rose at their fastest pace since October 2011, according to Reuters.

Chinese factories were due to restart work on Monday following the Lunar new year holiday, but many are expected to remain closed for longer as authorities work to contain the virus.

On Wall Street, equities were mostly higher. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose over 70 points, while the S&P 500 and Nasdaq indexes were also positive.

Back in Europe, votes are still being counted after Ireland held a general election this weekend but the preliminary results point to no outright majority for any of the country's main parties. Sinn Fein caused an upset to top the poll for first preference votes, but party leaders will now have to consider potential coalition arrangements in order to form a government.

In corporate news, German newspaper Handelsblatt reported on Sunday that German carmaker Daimler planned to cut up to 15,000 jobs as it intensified cost-cutting measures.

Elsewhere, extreme weather conditions caused by Storm Ciara led to the cancellation of hundreds of flights, railway services and sports matches across the U.K. and northern Europe on Sunday. Energy companies said hundreds of thousands of British homes lost power during the storm, the BBC reported on Monday.

Stocks on the move

NMC Health's London-listed shares jumped 32% to lead the Stoxx 600 after announcing it had received two preliminary approaches from private equity firms, and that two other major investors were under review for inaccurate disclosures.

Exor shares climbed 4% after the Italian investment group revealed talks to sell its reinsurer PartnerRe.

At the other end of the European benchmark, Carl Zeiss Meditec slipped 6% while Neste fell over 3%.