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Europe: Stocks struggle as virus worries weigh on fragile recovery

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[BENGALURU] European stocks struggled for momentum in early deals on Friday, with a resurgence in coronavirus cases across the continent raising concerns about its impact on a nascent economic recovery.

The pan-European Stoxx 600 index slipped 0.1 per cent by 7.08am GMT, with travel and leisure stocks leading the losses with a 1 per cent decline.

Market sentiment remained shaky as France registered a record 10,593 new confirmed coronavirus on Thursday, the highest single-day count since the pandemic began, while the United Kingdom also saw a surge in cases.

A spree of dealmaking drove activity in individual stocks.

Spain's state-owned Bankia slipped 2 per cent after Caixabank valued it at 4.3 billion euros (S$6.9 billion) as part of a deal that will create Spain's biggest domestic bank.

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Euronext jumped 3.4 per cent after London Stock Exchange said it had entered into exclusive talks to sell Borsa Italian to the French exchange operator.

Germany's Covestro gained 5.8 per cent after Bloomberg reported private equity firm Apollo Global Management was exploring a takeover of the plastics maker.

REUTERS

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