European stocks fall again as Covid crisis festers

accreditation
0:00
play article
Subscribers can listen to this article
European markets
European markets
Adam Gault
  • Stock markets fell further Wednesday, as investors sold risky shares.
  • Europe's two biggest economies, Germany and France, have been forced along with other countries to impose new restrictions to battle the disease, as they also struggle to get vaccination programmes rolling properly.
  • Outside the eurozone, London's FTSE 100 edged down by 0.2%, with losses less pronounced given Britain's rapid vaccination drive.


Stock markets fell further Wednesday, as investors sold risky shares owing to concerns that Europe's worsening coronavirus crisis could derail economic recovery, dealers said.

Losses were trimmed, however, after survey data showed the eurozone economy had returned to growth in March for the first time in six months.

Oil prices rebounded as traders fretted over possible supply issues given that a container ship has blocked the Suez Canal, a key route.

Bitcoin rose to $56 530 after Tesla boss Elon Musk tweeted that the carmaker now accepts the virtual currency as payment in the United States.

In the background, investor fears are growing over another deadly wave of Covid-19 and concerns over a stimulus-fuelled global inflation spike have not abated.

Frankfurt stocks lost 0.6% and Paris slipped by 0.2% in afternoon trading.

"Once again, concerns about another wave of Covid-19 cases in Europe and worries that economies will reopen later than initially predicted are weighing on stocks," said CMC Markets analyst David Madden.

Europe's two biggest economies, Germany and France, have been forced along with other countries to impose new restrictions to battle the disease, as they also struggle to get vaccination programmes rolling properly.

Outside the eurozone, London's FTSE 100 edged down by 0.2%, with losses less pronounced given Britain's rapid vaccination drive and news of easing UK inflation.

As trading got underway in New York, the Dow Jones index had risen by 0.8%, while the Nasdaq Composite was essentially unchanged.

In Asia, Hong Kong was among the biggest losers, dropping by 2% on news that the government had suspended its Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine programme over concerns about packaging, dealing a blow to the city's already slow inoculation programme.

Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index has now fallen into a correction having lost more than 10% from its recent high.

Tokyo also shed 2%, while Shanghai, Mumbai and Jakarta each lost more than 1%.

World oil prices recovered, as traders also fished for bargain crude after a slump on Tuesday.

"The oil market selloff has been given a reprieve," noted PVM analyst Stephen Brennock.


We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For 14 free days, you can have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today. Thereafter you will be billed R75 per month. You can cancel anytime and if you cancel within 14 days you won't be billed. 
Subscribe to News24
Rand - Dollar
18.09
-0.8%
Rand - Pound
20.21
-0.2%
Rand - Euro
17.74
-0.1%
Rand - Aus dollar
11.59
-0.3%
Rand - Yen
0.13
-0.1%
Gold
1,660.90
0.0%
Silver
19.03
0.0%
Palladium
2,166.50
0.0%
Platinum
864.50
0.0%
Brent Crude
85.14
-2.4%
Top 40
57,390
+0.8%
All Share
63,726
+0.7%
Resource 10
60,230
+0.7%
Industrial 25
77,400
+0.8%
Financial 15
13,796
+0.7%
All JSE data delayed by at least 15 minutes Iress logo
Company Snapshot
Editorial feedback and complaints

Contact the public editor with feedback for our journalists, complaints, queries or suggestions about articles on News24.

LEARN MORE
Government tenders

Find public sector tender opportunities in South Africa here.

Government tenders
This portal provides access to information on all tenders made by all public sector organisations in all spheres of government.
Browse tenders