European Shares Extend Losses On Economic Worries

European stocks fell on Thursday to extend losses from the previous session, with concerns of a prolonged economic downturn and rising U.S.-China tensions weighing on markets.

Fed Chair Jerome Powell warned of a recession worse than any since World War Two, and called for more fiscal support to shield the world’s largest economy from long-term economic damage due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Meanwhile, extra debt shouldered by governments and companies to steer through the Covid-19 crisis will “come back to haunt us”, the boss of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development has warned.

The pan European Stoxx 600 dropped 1.65 percent to 328.52 after declining 1.9 percent on Wednesday. The German DAX, France’s CAC 40 index and the U.K.’s FTSE 100 were down between 1.6 percent and 2.3 percent.

Hargreaves Lansdown shares jumped almost 5 percent after the fund platform
reported net new business of £4.0 billion in the four months ending April 30.

Marston’s tumbled 3.3 percent. The brewery, pub and hotel operator has secured a £70m funding boost to help it cope with the effects of the Covid-19 shutdown.

Retailer WH Smith lost 4.3 percent. After reporting a slight fall in pretax profit for the first half of fiscal 2020, the company said it expects results in the second half to be hit by the coronavirus pandemic.

Housebuilder Persimmon plummeted 5 percent. The company said it would reopen sales offices from May 15.

Pharmaceutical giant Sanofi fell 2.2 percent. CEO Paul Hudson has said that the U.S. will likely have first access to its Covid-19 vaccine if it succeeds.

Exchange operator Euronext rallied 2.8 percent after it reported a 55 percent jump in quarterly revenue.

Electric utility EDF climbed 2.7 percent after maintaining its nuclear output forecast.

Industrial group Bouygues slumped 4.7 percent after widening its first-quarter net loss.

BMW Group shares fell 2.7 percent. The automaker stated that, as expected, its full-year 2020 sales and earnings before tax will be significantly lower than the previous year. The company also said the outlook for 2021 remains extremely uncertain.

SGL Carbon lost 1.8 percent after the carbon and graphite product manufacturer slipped to a loss in the first quarter and projected a decline in sales revenue and recurring EBIT for the second quarter.

Merck KGaA declined 1.4 percent after lowering its profit outlook for the year.

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