Europe Markets

European markets close lower after U.S. coronavirus surge; Wirecard down another 44%

Key Points
  • The U.S reported more than 30,000 new coronavirus cases on Friday and Saturday, the highest daily totals since May 1, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University, with new cases are rising in states across the South, West and Midwest.
  • Shares of Germany's Wirecard continued to nosedive on Monday morning, falling a further 37% after the payments company said on Monday that the $2.1 billion missing from its accounts probably does not exist.

European stocks closed lower on Monday as investors reacted to a surge in coronavirus cases in the U.S., and growing concerns over a rise in infections in Germany.

The pan-European Stoxx 600 ended down 0.7%, with almost all sectors in negative territory. 

International investors are keeping a close eye on coronavirus developments following the news that cases are increasing rapidly in the U.S. The U.S reported more than 30,000 new coronavirus cases on Friday and Saturday, the highest daily totals since May 1, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University, with new cases are rising in states across the South, West and Midwest.

Seven states hit record cases on Saturday, including Florida and South Carolina, which had their third consecutive day breaking single-day records. Nonetheless, U.S. stock futures rose early Monday morning following a solid weekly performance on Wall Street amid continuing concerns about the coronavirus outbreak. 

Dow Jones Industrial Average futures were 102 points higher. S&P 500 and Nasdaq-100 futures were also trading in positive territory. Stocks in Asia also nudged higher in Monday afternoon trade; China kept its benchmark lending rate unchanged on Monday, with the 1-year loan prime rate left at 3.85%.

Meanwhile in Europe, Germany's Robert Koch Institute for public health has said the coronavirus reproduction rate (an indicator of how many people a person who has the coronavirus could be expected to go on to infect, on average) jumped to 2.88 on Sunday, up from 1.79 a day earlier, Reuters reported. Experts have aimed to keep the reproduction rate below one in order to contain the outbreak.

Wirecard plummeting

Shares of Germany's Wirecard continued to nosedive on Monday morning, falling a further 44% after the payments company said on Monday that the $2.1 billion missing from its accounts probably does not exist.

The company's stock has been in freefall since the balance sheet inconsistency was revealed last week, leading to the resignation of CEO Markus Braun on Friday.

Carnival fell over 10% after the cruise operator extended its operational pause due to the coronavirus pandemic until September 30.

Lufthansa shares ended 3% lower amid a battle with billionaire shareholder Heinz Hermann Thiele, who is objecting to the airline's impending 9 billion euro ($10.1 billion) state bailout package.

Dutch biotechnology firm Argenx as one of the top performers on Monday, up more than 4%.

- CNBC's Fred Imbert and Emma Newburger contributed to this report.