Virus concerns linger in European stocks, while Lufthansa surges

Virus concerns linger in European stocks, while Lufthansa surges

European stocks flipped between losses and gains on Thursday, showing the nervousness around coronavirus and trade tensions lingered after the heavy selling from the previous day.

The Stoxx Europe 600 SXXP, +0.19% , which slumped 2.8% on Wednesday, rose 0.2%.

Decliners included chip equipment maker ASML ASML, -0.62% , business software giant SAP, -0.75% and drugmaker Novartis NOVN, +0.10% .

States re-introducing lockdown measures in the world’s largest economy, as well as companies including Apple AAPL, -1.76% shutting down stores, have worried investors.

“It seems that the ‘second wave’ has arrived even before the first wave subsided. The U.S. and, increasingly, Brazil, are the main hotspots, but the number of new cases is rising elsewhere in the world as well,” said Marshall Gittler, head of investment research at BDSwiss Group.

The airline sector was in focus. Lufthansa LHA, -0.19% surged nearly 14% on news its top shareholder will vote in favor of a bailout package, while easyJet EZJ, -5.78% dropped 5% after selling £419 million of discounted shares.

Wirecard WDI, -9.84% , the German payments processor that last week revealed a 1.9 billion euro hole in its balance sheet, lost 13%. Germany’s finance ministry disclosed to lawmakers that a whistleblower had tipped off BaFin in 2019 about irregularities at the company, Bloomberg News reported.

Futures on the Dow Jones Industrial Average YM00, -0.10% slipped 105 points after the 710-point slump in the blue chips DJIA, -2.71% on Wednesday. Jobless claims and durable-goods orders data, as well as the final reading on first-quarter GDP, are due.

Originally published on MarketWatch

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