European stocks slip after bright start to week

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European markets
European markets
Adam Gault
  • European stock markets headed south Monday after opening higher, as France was reportedly set for a fresh lockdown.
  • Border restrictions were meanwhile being tightened around the world Monday.
  • The United States was set to join France, Israel and Sweden in pulling up the drawbridge to certain arrivals, with special concern about new strains of the pathogen that originated in Britain and South Africa.


European stock markets headed south Monday after opening higher, as France was reportedly set for a fresh lockdown over the coronavirus pandemic.

Asian markets had initially risen but later turned lower.

The dollar traded mixed, while oil prices rose.

"A somewhat drab start to European trade has highlighted the detrimental impact of the lockdown measures seen throughout the region, with traders casting aside the optimism seen throughout Asia overnight," noted Joshua Mahony, senior market analyst at IG trading group.

"France looks set for a third lockdown, with the spread of the UK strain likely to bring further travel restrictions."

Border restrictions were meanwhile being tightened around the world Monday, after a weekend in which anger at social distancing rules bubbled over into fiery clashes in the Netherlands.

The United States was set to join France, Israel and Sweden in pulling up the drawbridge to certain arrivals, with special concern about new strains of the pathogen that originated in Britain and South Africa.

Elsewhere, investors kept tabs on the progress of US President Joe Biden's economic rescue package.

Lawmakers in Washington are getting to work on the $1.9 trillion stimulus proposal from the new president, with some suggesting they could pass something before the Senate holds an impeachment trial of Donald Trump, which starts in the week beginning February 8.

But it will likely face headwinds from Republicans who think another massive outlay comes too soon after the $900 billion spending package passed at the end of last year.

The Federal Reserve will also hold its first meeting under the Biden administration this week, with investors looking for clues about its plans for monetary policy.

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