Breaking News
Get Actionable Insights with InvestingPro+: Start 7 Day FREE Trial Register here
Investing Pro 0
Ad-Free Version. Upgrade your experience. Save up to 40% More details

European Stocks Lower; Covid Worries Overshadow PMI Data

Stock MarketsMar 24, 2021 04:58AM ET
Saved. See Saved Items.
This article has already been saved in your Saved Items
© Reuters.

By Peter Nurse - European stock markets traded lower Wednesday as doubts about the speed of recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic weighed on sentiment even after healthy business activity data.

At 5 AM ET (0900 GMT), the DAX in Germany traded 0.5% lower, the CAC 40 in France fell 0.4% and the U.K.'s FTSE index dropped 0.2%.

Europe is currently suffering from a third wave of the Covid-19 virus, with the Netherlands announcing late Tuesday that a nationwide curfew will be extended by three weeks until late April - joining the likes of Germany, France and Italy which have already tightened restrictive measures.

Part of the problem has been the relatively slow rollout of vaccines within the region, something that has prompted a spat between Britain and the European Union over the distribution of the drugs.

The European Union is set to extend Covid-19 vaccine export curbs to Britain and other areas with much higher vaccination rates, and to cover instances of companies backloading contracted supplies, EU officials said Wednesday.

Adding to the worries, confidence in the safety of AstraZeneca's (NASDAQ:AZN) vaccine took another hit Tuesday after a U.S. health agency said its trial may have included outdated information.

On a brighter note, German factory activity rose to a record high in March and the services sector expanded after five successive months of contractions, with the country’s preliminary composite PMI rising to a 37-month high of 56.8 from 51.1 the previous month.

This suggests Europe's largest economy was shrugging off pandemic lockdowns, although the surveys were conducted before the latest restrictions.

French data also showed strong growth, although its composite PMI release climbed to 49.5 from 47.0, still in contraction territory.

Inflation data from the U.K. had earlier undershot, with February's CPI release climbing by just 0.4% on the year, versus the expected 0.8%, and by 0.1% on the month, versus 0.5% expected.  

In the corporate sector, Carrefour (PA:CARR) stock rose 0.4% after the French retail giant announced plans to buy Brazilian food retailer Grupo BIG for around 1.1 billion euros ($1.3 billion).  

Bellway (LON:BWY) stock fell 1.9% after the U.K.-based house builder put aside another 20 million pounds ($27 million) to cover recladding and other remediation works on its buildings, in the wake of the Grenfell Tower disaster.

Oil prices pushed higher Wednesday, steadying after the sharp losses of the previous session, but worries about a slow recovery to demand remain given the fresh lockdowns in Europe and a build in U.S. inventories limited gains.

U.S. crude stocks jumped by 2.9 million barrels last week, according to data from industry group the American Petroleum Institute. Official data from the Energy Information Administration are due later in the session.

U.S. crude futures traded 2.2% higher at $59.04 a barrel, while the Brent contract rose 2.2% to $62.15. Both benchmarks have still fallen nearly 15% from their recent highs earlier this month.

Elsewhere, gold futures rose 0.3% to $1,730.15/oz, while EUR/USD traded 0.2% lower at 1.1828.


European Stocks Lower; Covid Worries Overshadow PMI Data

Related Articles

U.S. CDC backs COVID boosters for children 5 to 11
U.S. CDC backs COVID boosters for children 5 to 11 By Reuters - May 19, 2022 7

By Manas Mishra and Michael Erman (Reuters) -The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on Thursday recommended the COVID-19 vaccine booster for children ages 5 to...

Add a Comment

Comment Guidelines

We encourage you to use comments to engage with other users, share your perspective and ask questions of authors and each other. However, in order to maintain the high level of discourse we’ve all come to value and expect, please keep the following criteria in mind:  

  •            Enrich the conversation, don’t trash it.

  •           Stay focused and on track. Only post material that’s relevant to the topic being discussed. 

  •           Be respectful. Even negative opinions can be framed positively and diplomatically. Avoid profanity, slander or personal attacks directed at an author or another user. Racism, sexism and other forms of discrimination will not be tolerated.

  • Use standard writing style. Include punctuation and upper and lower cases. Comments that are written in all caps and contain excessive use of symbols will be removed.
  • NOTE: Spam and/or promotional messages and comments containing links will be removed. Phone numbers, email addresses, links to personal or business websites, Skype/Telegram/WhatsApp etc. addresses (including links to groups) will also be removed; self-promotional material or business-related solicitations or PR (ie, contact me for signals/advice etc.), and/or any other comment that contains personal contact specifcs or advertising will be removed as well. In addition, any of the above-mentioned violations may result in suspension of your account.
  • Doxxing. We do not allow any sharing of private or personal contact or other information about any individual or organization. This will result in immediate suspension of the commentor and his or her account.
  • Don’t monopolize the conversation. We appreciate passion and conviction, but we also strongly believe in giving everyone a chance to air their point of view. Therefore, in addition to civil interaction, we expect commenters to offer their opinions succinctly and thoughtfully, but not so repeatedly that others are annoyed or offended. If we receive complaints about individuals who take over a thread or forum, we reserve the right to ban them from the site, without recourse.
  • Only English comments will be allowed.

Perpetrators of spam or abuse will be deleted from the site and prohibited from future registration at’s discretion.

Write your thoughts here
Are you sure you want to delete this chart?
Post also to:
Replace the attached chart with a new chart ?
Your ability to comment is currently suspended due to negative user reports. Your status will be reviewed by our moderators.
Please wait a minute before you try to comment again.
Thanks for your comment. Please note that all comments are pending until approved by our moderators. It may therefore take some time before it appears on our website.
Are you sure you want to delete this chart?
Replace the attached chart with a new chart ?
Your ability to comment is currently suspended due to negative user reports. Your status will be reviewed by our moderators.
Please wait a minute before you try to comment again.
Add Chart to Comment
Confirm Block

Are you sure you want to block %USER_NAME%?

By doing so, you and %USER_NAME% will not be able to see any of each other's's posts.

%USER_NAME% was successfully added to your Block List

Since you’ve just unblocked this person, you must wait 48 hours before renewing the block.

Report this comment

I feel that this comment is:

Comment flagged

Thank You!

Your report has been sent to our moderators for review
Continue with Google
Sign up with Email