Europe Markets

European markets slip 0.7% amid concerns of a second wave of the coronavirus

Key Points
  • European investors continued to watch developments in the region, as countries continued to gradually lift lockdown restrictions.

European stocks closed in negative territory on Monday as the lifting of lockdowns continued throughout Europe despite fears of a second wave of coronavirus cases.

The pan-European Stoxx 600 ended the day provisionally 0.7% lower, reversing earlier gains. Basic resources dropped 2.5% to lead losses, with most sectors and major bourses ending in the red.

Spain's IBEX closed around 0.75% lower, while France's CAC 40 ended down 1.3%. Meanwhile, Italy's FTSE MIB fell around 0.3% and Germany's DAX ended the day down 0.7%. The U.K.'s FTSE 100 ended flat.

European investors continued to watch developments in the region with countries continuing to gradually lift lockdown restrictions.

On Sunday, the U.K.'s Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced tentative steps to re-open the economy and public life and on Monday a 50-page document detailing the changes was published. From Monday, Brits who cannot work from home are being "actively encouraged" to go back to work, but avoid using public transport if possible. People will also be allowed to take unlimited amounts of exercise from Wednesday.

Meanwhile in France, stores and hair salons are opening Monday and people no longer need permits to travel. Schools for younger children and nurseries are also reopening.

However, Wuhan in China, where the outbreak which has now infected more than 4 million people worldwide began, on Monday reported its first cluster of new Covid-19 cases since lifting its lockdown measures. It sparked fears that easing restrictions could give way to a second wave of infections.

In Asia, stocks traded higher on Monday morning amid hopes of economies reopening, although there is caution after the U.S. recorded 20.5 million job losses in April on Friday.

U.S. Treasury Secretary Mnuchin warned that the jobless numbers could "get worse before they get better." He said Sunday that the unemployment rate stateside may have already reached 25% as the administration seeks to reopen the country's economy.

Biggest movers

Near the bottom of the European benchmark, easyJet stock fell around 6% after the British government announced plans to quarantine inbound travelers in order to prevent a second wave of coronavirus infections, further deterring air travel. British software company Micro Focus fell 6.2%, while utility giant Centrica dropped around 8.8%.

Germany's Wirecard climbed more than 8% to lead the Stoxx 600.