By Sruthi Shankar and Susan Mathew
(Reuters) – European stocks closed down more than 2% and had their worst session in nine months on Monday on concerns that the rapidly spreading Delta variant of the coronavirus could slow the global economic recovery.
Commodity, banking and travel stocks lost more than 3%, with oil and travel and leisure stock indices hitting lows since February.
Extending last week’s losses, the pan-European STOXX 600 index fell 2.3%, with all sectors in the red.
“Investors are extremely concerned (at the risk) that…another blockage could occur in a month or two,” said Russ Mold, chief investment officer at AJ Bell. “Covid is spreading rapidly again, and airlines, restaurants and leisure companies may not have the strong summer buzz they’ve been hoping for.”
In the UK, new Covid-19 cases rose to 48,161 on Sunday, while in France a minister said the reinstatement of curfew measures cannot be ruled out if infections continue to rise.
In LONDON, the Financial Times index retreated 2.34%, to 6,844.39 points.
In FRANKFURT, the DAX index fell 2.62% to 15,133.20 points.
In PARIS, the CAC-40 index lost 2.54% to 6,295.97 points.
In MILAN, the Ftse/Mib index had a devaluation of 3.34%, to 23,965.92 points.
In MADRID, the Ibex-35 index dropped 2.40% to 8,301.70 points.
In LISBON, the PSI20 index devalued 2.70%, to 4,894.43 points.
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