European Shares Decline As Risk Appetite Wanes

European stocks were declining on Thursday as a downbeat economic outlook from the U.S. Federal Reserve as well as fears of a second wave of Covid-19 infections in the United States dented investors’ appetite for riskier assets.

Texas on Wednesday reported 2,504 new coronavirus cases, the highest one-day total since the pandemic emerged, raising alarms and bringing challenges for residents and the economy.

The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in the United States passed the two-million mark, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.

The pan European Stoxx 600 fell 2.2 percent to 360.17 after declining 0.4 percent on Wednesday.

The German DAX dropped 2.1 percent, France’s CAC 40 index gave up 2.3 percent and the U.K.’s FTSE 100 was down 2 percent.

Dutch paints and chemicals maker Akzo Nobel N.V. fell 2.2 percent. The company said that its revenue for the month of April, amid Coronavirus pandemic, was down almost 30 percent than last year with strongest market headwinds.

Consumer goods giant Unilever rose 2.3 percent after saying it would merge its
dual-headed legal structure to a single parent company.

Travel and leisure stocks fell on fears of a further hit to demand. TUI AG lost 5.8 percent, Carnival plunged 10 percent and British Airways-owner IAG declined 5.6 percent. Jet engine maker Rolls Royce was down 4.4 percent.

German airline Lufthansa gave up 7 percent after confirming that it is planning to axe 22,000 full-time jobs.

B&M European Value Retail fell over 9 percent. The discount retailer warned that a strong start to its new fiscal year was unlikely to continue.

Manufacturing giant Johnson Matthey shed 2.6 percent as it announced plans to cut about 2,500 jobs.

Similarly, energy and services company Centrica tumbled 3.5 percent on news it will cut 5,000 jobs and halve its senior team as part of a restructuring.

Oil and gas company Total SA declined 3 percent and BP Plc dropped 2.5 percent as oil prices fell more than 3 percent on concerns about slow demand recovery.

Peugeot lost 6.3 percent after reports that Fiat Chrysler and Peugeot maker PSA are likely headed for a lengthier probe of their planned $50 billion merger.

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