(For a Reuters live blog on U.S., UK and European stock markets, click LIVE/ or type LIVE/ in a news window)
* Wall St choppy as Biden seen closer to victory
* Airlines hit as lockdown fears back on radar
* Insurers supported by earnings, M&A
* Richemont surges on Q2 improvement
(Updates to market close)
By Sruthi Shankar
Nov 6 (Reuters) - European stocks closed slightly lower on Friday, taking the shine off a 7% rally this week as investors focused on soaring coronavirus cases on the continent and uncertainty around the U.S. presidential election.
The pan-European STOXX 600 .STOXX slipped 0.2% after a five-day winning streak that marked the index's best week since early June.
Sparking a rally in global stocks, investors bet that Democrat Joe Biden will become the next U.S. president but Republicans will retain control of the Senate, potentially delaying major policy changes including tighter scrutiny on big American firms.
Wall Street stocks were, however, choppy on Friday as Biden took the lead over President Donald Trump in the battleground states of Pennsylvania and Georgia, putting him on the verge of winning the White House. handful of states continue to count votes and Trump has falsely claimed the election is being "stolen" from him. doubts remain that the eventual outcome may well end up in the U.S. courts," Michael Hewson, chief market analyst at CMC Markets wrote in a note. "For now, financial markets don't appear too concerned, however it would still seem prudent to take some money off the table as we head into the weekend."
Meanwhile, Italy registered its highest ever daily coronavirus case tally, with the northern region of Lombardy remaining the hardest hit area. Lufthansa LHAG.DE dropped 6.9% as Germany warned against unnecessary travel to Denmark, Italy and several other countries. airline easyJet EZJ.L fell 2.6% after it said the recently announced lockdowns in England, Germany and France had forced it to further scale back its already reduced flying schedule. certainly, we could see double-dip recession in parts of Europe," said Dhaval Joshi, European investment strategist at BCA Research in London.
Automakers .SXAP fell the most, down 1.7% after surging this week on hopes that a Biden win could lead to a softer stance on trade policies.
Insurers .SXIP got a boost after Germany's Allianz ALVG.DE reported an surprise 6% rise in third-quarter net profit. multi-billion dollar deal involving RSA RSA.L , Canadian insurer Intact Financial IFC.TO and Danish insurer Tryg TRYG.CO also lifted the sector. .SXPP gained the most, up almost 2% as metals prices rose in the wake of a weakening dollar. MET/L
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