Europe Markets

European markets close lower as coronavirus concerns weigh on sentiment

Key Points
  • Concerns over the pandemic are returning to the fore, especially over the U.S., where the virus has now infected more than 3.8 million people, according to data from Johns Hopkins University, and has killed almost 142,000 people. 

European stocks closed lower on Wednesday as concerns over the coronavirus outweighed optimism over the European Union's recovery fund.

The pan-European Stoxx 600 provisionally ended down 0.9%, with oil and gas stocks shedding more than 2% to lead losses as all sectors except financial services slid into negative territory.

European stocks had advanced Tuesday after European Union leaders reached a deal on a 750 billion euro ($862 billion) recovery fund to help the region recover from the coronavirus crisis.

But, concerns over the pandemic returned to the fore, especially in the U.S., where the virus has now infected more than 3.8 million people, according to data from Johns Hopkins University, and has killed almost 142,000 people. 

The U.S. reported more than 1,000 deaths from Covid-19 on Tuesday, according to a Reuters tally, marking the first time since June 10 that the country had reached that grim milestone.

President Donald Trump warned Tuesday the pandemic in the U.S. will probably "get worse before it gets better." 

"That's something I don't like saying about things, but that's the way it is, it's what we have," he said during a White House briefing on the pandemic. "You look over the world, it's all over the world."

In terms of individual share price action, Norwegian media group Schibsted climbed 15% after its spin-off Adevinta bought eBay's classifieds unit for $9.2 billion on Tuesday.

At the bottom of the European blue chip index, Melrose dropped 19% after the British business transformation company posted second-quarter losses and warned of job cuts as sales plunged.