UPDATE 2-European stocks end four weeks of gains on lockdown, vaccine worries

  • Reuters
  • Stock Market News
UPDATE 2-European stocks end four weeks of gains on lockdown, vaccine worries
Credit: © Reuters.

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* STOXX 600 logs 0.8% weekly decline

* Mining, oil stocks weigh on markets

* EU vaccine shipments fall short

(Updates to market close)

By Amal S and Sruthi Shankar

Jan 15 (Reuters) - European stocks snapped four weeks of gains on Friday, as the prospect of tighter lockdowns, slow vaccine shipments to the continent and resurgent coronavirus cases in China dampened hopes of a speedy economic recovery.

The pan-European STOXX 600 index .STOXX closed down 1% in its worst session since Dec. 21, with losses accelerating after Wall Street stocks tumbled following big bank earnings. .N

The STOXX 600 logged a 0.8% weekly decline, its first weekly decline since mid-December.

Adding to worries, some EU nations are receiving fewer than expected doses of coronavirus vaccines as U.S. pharmaceutical firm Pfizer (NYSE: PFE ) PFE.N slowed shipments of the vaccine developed with German partner BioNTech 22UAy.DE . BioNTech shares dropped 2.2%. Chancellor Angela Merkel called for "very fast action" to counter the spread of coronavirus as the country saw a record number of virus-related deaths, while France said it would strengthen its border controls from Monday. German DAX .GDAXI dropped 1.4% and France's CAC 40 .FCHI fell 1.2%. UK's FTSE 100 .FTSE declined 1% despite data showing that Britain's economy recorded a smaller-than-expected contraction in November. .SXPP and oil & gas .SXEP sectors slumped 3.1% and 2.6%, respectively, after Chinese authorities put more than 28 million people under new lockdowns, raising concerns about demand from the major consumer of commodities. of a large U.S. fiscal stimulus sent the STOXX 600 to a 11-month peak earlier this week, but markets retreated after U.S. president-elect Joe Biden outlined a $1.9 trillion proposal that raised worries of a tax hike. positioning had been quite aggressive, so I suppose it is a pause for breath," said Roger Jones, head of equities at London & Capital.

"The rollout and the speed of vaccination is becoming increasingly important and the market is willing to look through a period of extended lockdown if it's a relatively short period."

German business software group SAP SAPG.DE closed down 0.7%, reversing early gains after it released preliminary annual results that came at the high end of guidance. Energy AG ENR1n.DE fell 6.3% after General Electric (NYSE: GE ) Co GE.N accused a subsidiary of the power distribution company of using stolen trade secrets to rig bids for lucrative contracts. grocer Carrefour CARR.PA fell almost 3% after the French government all but killed off a possible $20 billion takeover by Canada's Alimentation Couche-Tard ATDb.TO .

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