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European stocks fall on concerns over rising COVID in China

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By Sruthi Shankar and Shreyashi Sanyal

March 15 (Reuters) – European stocks fell on Tuesday, with commodity-linked sectors leading losses, as concerns about rising coronavirus cases in China added to nerves ahead of the expected rate hike. of stakeholders in the United States.

* The pan-European STOXX 600 index fell 0.3%, after rising in the past two sessions as hopes of progress in Russia-Ukraine peace talks lifted sentiment.

* European miners slumped 2.1% and oil and gas stocks fell 0.1% as crude oil prices fell more than 7% and industrial metals slipped on concern sparking demand from the main consumer, China, following the rise in COVID-19 cases.

* “Sectors exposed to China – basic materials, mining and metals, residential construction and luxury stocks – are moving in part because of restrictions imposed in some parts of China,” said Nick Nelson, European equity strategist at UBS.

* “It’s another thing that worries the markets in terms of the impact on economic growth and demand for European companies selling in China.”

* Shares of French luxury goods maker LVMH, which derives a significant portion of its revenue from China, fell and 1.5%, becoming the biggest drag on the STOXX 600.

* The Federal Reserve is expected to start the cycle of rate hikes on Wednesday with 25 basis points, as market players increase bets on how far the cost of credit in the United States could rise due to rising inflation.

* The Bank of England also includes the value of loans on Thursday.

(Reporting by Sruthi Shankar in Bengaluru; Editing in Spanish by Javier López de Lérida)

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