The Business Times

Europe: Stocks sink at open on renewed virus fears

Published Mon, Jul 19, 2021 · 04:23 PM

[LONDON] European stocks opened sharply lower on Monday, mirroring losses elsewhere, as investors eyed the lifting of most Covid curbs in England and fretted over the spreading Delta variant.

In initial deals, London's benchmark FTSE 100 index dropped 1.2 percent to 6,926.70 points after the UK government lifted England's daily pandemic curbs despite soaring infection rates.

In the eurozone, Frankfurt's DAX 30 dropped 1.1 per cent to 15,365.53 points and the Paris CAC 40 shed 1.3 per cent to 6,377.50, compared with the closing levels on Friday.

Almost all Covid-19 restrictions were lifted in England on Monday, in a move criticised by experts concerned by a surge in cases, but hailed by supporters as "freedom day".

"Far from bringing an added dose of confidence to investors, 'Freedom Day' appears to be a setback," Hargreaves Lansdown analyst Susannah Streeter told AFP.

"The FTSE 100 has opened down by 1.2 per cent, below the psychologically-important 7,000 mark.

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"The sharply rising Covid infection rates across the UK, and concerns about fresh easing of restrictions, is likely to be behind the drop."

AFP

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