UPDATE 2-European stocks ease from recent peak on global virus worries

  • Reuters
  • Stock Market News
UPDATE 2-European stocks ease from recent peak on global virus worries
Credit: © Reuters.

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* Cyclical stocks lead losses, utilities support

* Norwegian Air tumbles on filing for bankruptcy protection

* Euro zone economy expected to shrink 2.5% in Q4 - poll

(Updates to market close)

By Sruthi Shankar

Nov 19 (Reuters) - European stocks fell on Thursday as investors feared another round of shutdowns due to soaring coronavirus cases globally, with growth-linked cyclical stocks leading losses across regional markets.

The pan-European STOXX 600 .STOXX closed 0.8% lower, easing from an eight-month high hit earlier this week.

Miners .SXPP , travel .SXTP , oil and gas .SXEP and banking .SX7P sectors that have rallied strongly in November on positive COVID-19 vaccine data, shed almost 2%.

Media stocks .SXMP rose, while utilities .SX6P and tech firms .SX8P posted minor losses.

U.S. stocks also slipped from all-time highs as New York City's public schools called a halt to in-classroom instruction in the latest major restriction to curb the spread of the virus. infection and hospitalisation rates rising, and the risk that current lockdown restrictions either remain in place, or get extended into 2021, the probability that any economic damage will become permanent is only likely to increase," Michael Hewson, chief market analyst at CMC Markets said in a note.

Investors have been weighing the consequences of tighter restrictions globally on economic growth against hopes of a COVID-19 vaccine supporting a recovery.

European Central Bank President Christine Lagarde called on EU leaders to end a potentially damaging budget impasse and repeated a promise to keep monetary policy super easy. Reuters poll showed economists expect the euro zone economy to shrink 2.5% this quarter after expanding a record 12.6% in the previous quarter. individual stocks, ailing German conglomerate Thyssenkrupp TKAG.DE fell 3.4% after it said it would need to cut a further 5,000 jobs to ease the impact of the coronavirus crisis on its businesses. Air NORR.OL slumped 15.7% after it filed for bankruptcy protection as it seeks to stave off collapse amid the pandemic. HelloFresh HFGG.DE jumped 6.6% after its CEO said the meal-kit delivery firm would expand its capacity to supply U.S. diners by 50% by mid-2021. Spanish media firm PRISA PRS.MC surged 21.0% after it said it had received an offer for El Pais daily and its other media assets from Spanish businessman Blas Herrero.

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