European Markets Close Lower Amid Coronavirus Fears; Wirecard Down 63%

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The pan-European Stoxx 600 closed 0.4% lower, with most sectors and major bourses in negative territory. Markets had advanced as much as

Those early gains were wiped out amid an increase in the number of coronavirus infections in the U.S., with Texas pausing the reopening of its economy after another record daily rise in new cases and hospitalizations.

U.S. stocks slipped on the news, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average declining over 500 points.

As of Friday morning, the U.S. has more than 2.4 million confirmed cases and more than 124,000 deaths, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University. However, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said on Thursday that the true number of infections could be 10 times higher than the official count.

Localized restrictions have also been reimposed in parts of the Portuguese capital Lisbon, western Germany, Beijing and Victoria state in Australia.

1.1% earlier in the session.

European markets closed lower on Friday, amid concern over surging coronavirus cases in the U.S

he IMF on Thursday warned that stocks could suffer a second meltdown in the event of another global spike in infections, the reintroduction of lockdown measures or an escalation in trade tensions.

It has been a big week for corporate news in Europe. Wirecard filed for insolvency on Thursday, unable to account for a $2.1 billion black hole in its balance sheet and owing $4 billion to creditors. Shares of the German payment company tumbled another 64% Friday to trade at just 1.28 euros per share.

Lufthansa shareholders on Thursday backed a $10 billion German government bailout package to rescue the embattled carrier after major shareholder Heinz Hermann Thiele dropped his opposition to the plan. The airline group’s stock price slumped over 6%.

Meanwhile, Reuters reported Thursday night that the Dutch government has agreed a 3.4 billion euro rescue deal with France for Air France-KLM, as airlines continue to reel from months of worldwide travel restrictions. Shares of the company fell slightly following the news.

British engineering company Weir Group was the biggest gainer by Friday afternoon trade, climbing 5% after announcing the refinancing of a $950 million revolving credit facility and a £200 million ($247.8 million) term loan.


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