European stocks extended their losses to the end of the week amid fears of an extension of Covid travel restrictions on the continent, falling retail sales in the UK and weak survey results business has affected confidence.
“Today’s widespread losses could involve an element of profit taking. However, we’ve also seen the markets come to realize the harsh reality that if Joe Biden appears to be taking the Covid pandemic more seriously, it means restrictions. stricter to the detriment of economic activity “. said IG Senior Market Analyst Josh Mahony.
“With rumors that Spain will not open its borders to holidaymakers until late summer, and Biden enacting a new test and quarantine program, the travel industry has been hit hard today. “
The pan-European Stoxx 600 index slipped only 0.57% to 408.54, but while the German Dax fell 0.24% to 13,873.97, Spain’s Ibex 35 fell by 1.06% to 8036.4 and the Mibtel FTSE of 1.52% to 22,088.36.
Travel stocks were in disgrace as the UK mulled over a total travel ban and the European Union proposed to label hot spots of COVID-19 infections as ‘dark red’ areas, passengers in these areas being forced to pass a pre-departure test and be quarantined.
The Stoxx 600 Travel & Leisure sector index fell 2.48% to 225.18.
Holiday group TUI sagged by 13.3%, EasyJet 3.3%, and Railway line 4.96%, while Lufthansa and Air France also fell.
In the United Kingdom, Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who predicted that the coronavirus would be brought under control last Easter, was notably moderate on Thursday on when the restrictions could be lifted.
Eurozone business activity fell faster in January, as businesses were hit by the Covid-19 crisis and tightening restrictions.
The flash ‘ IHS Markit The composite purchasing managers’ index fell to 47.5 from 49.1 a month earlier – the third consecutive month with a score below 50 that separated growth from contraction. December’s score was broadly in line with the consensus forecast of 47.6 and made another recession likely in the eurozone.
UK retail sales figures for December rose 0.3%, worse than expected, from 1.4% expected, alongside a downward revision of the November figure from -3.8% to -4.1%. Global retail sales marked their worst year since the record began.
Net public sector borrowing revealed a rise, bringing UK national debt to over £ 2 billion for the first time.