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September 18 (Reuters) – European stocks struggled to gain momentum in early deals on Friday, with a resurgence of coronavirus cases across the continent, raising concerns over its impact on an emerging economic recovery.
The pan-European STOXX 600 index slipped 0.1% to 0708 GMT, with travel and leisure stocks leading the losses with a 1% decline.
Market sentiment remained volatile as France on Thursday recorded a record 10,593 new confirmed coronaviruses, the highest number in a day since the start of the pandemic, while the UK also saw an increase in cases .
A frenzy of trading spurred activity in individual stocks. Spain’s state-owned bank Bankia lost 2% after Caixabank valued it at 4.3 billion euros ($ 5.10 billion) in a deal that will create Spain’s largest national bank.
Euronext jumped 3.4% after the London Stock Exchange announced it had entered into exclusive negotiations to sell Borsa Italian to the French stock operator.
Germany Covestro gained 5.8% after Bloomberg announced that private equity firm Apollo Global Management was considering taking over the plastics maker. (Reporting by Sruthi Shankar in Bengaluru; Editing by Saumyadeb Chakrabarty)