European markets tumble over fears of widespread COVID-19 lockdowns

Stock indexes across Europe were in the red on Wednesday as fears of COVID-19 lockdowns in Germany and France grip the continent.

Stock ChartJack Denton for Barron’s:

Stock indexes across Europe were in the red on Wednesday as fears of lockdowns in Germany and France grip the continent. Infections are rising in Europe, as the World Health Organization said this week that governments are “well behind” in the fight against Covid-19. The pan-European benchmark Stoxx 600 hit its lowest level since May.

In Germany, Angela Merkel will advocate for a partial lockdown, closing bars and restaurants as well as banning public events, according to reports.

The Guardian:

European stock markets are sliding towards their lowest levels since the spring, as the second wave of Covid-19 infections force governments to impose tough restrictions again.

Europe’s Stoxx 600 index of leading European companies hit its lowest closing point since mid-June last night. It is set for further losses today as Berlin and Paris consider new lockdown measures, which could include a new national lockdown in France.

Both France and Germany have seen sharply rising Covid-19 cases, raising fears that their health systems could be overwhelmed if deaths keep rising in the next few weeks.

President Emmanuel Macron is scheduled to give a televised address on Wednesday evening amid reports that his government was considering placing the country under a month-long lockdown, after France reported its highest death toll since April.

Chancellor Angela Merkel is pushing Germany’s state premiers to agree the closure of all bars and restaurants from next week, in an attempt to slow the pandemic while keeping schools open.


Chancellor Angela Merkel will press regional leaders on Wednesday to agree to a partial lockdown in Germany which would see restaurants and bars closed but keep schools open, a draft document seen by Reuters said.

The drastic steps, which top-selling Bild daily said will take effect from Nov. 2, are aimed at curbing the spread of the coronavirus in Europe’s biggest economy as the number of new cases hit a record high.

Under the new planned restrictions, people would be able to go out with members only of their own and one other household. Fitness studios, discos and cinemas would close, as would theatres, opera houses and concert venues.

Restaurants would offer only takeaways. Shops could stay open if they impose hygiene measures and limit customer numbers.

The government is desperate to avoid another blanket lockdown after one in March-April decimated growth, with the economy shrinking by a record 9.7% in the second quarter.

MacDailyNews Take: COVID-19 is the gift than keeps on giving.

Of course, Apple Retail Stores in Europe face the prospect of COVID-19 lockdowns as well.


    1. “King of Graft.”

      Nice. And so true. With actual proof even.

      Don’t worry, a doddering old guy with dementia and Headboard Harris will cure the world of COVID-19 which, of course, is all Trump’s fault. Not China’s Communist Party, which owns both Biden and Harris lock, stock, and barrel.

      Hey, don’t worry, Libs, Washington Post-ABC News says Biden is up by 17 points in Wisconsin. You’re all set. Don’t worry about anything, including the rest of the country watching Philly burn and be looted of TVs and major appliances in such noble “peaceful protest.”

      Can’t wait for Nov. 4th!

    1. Dr. David Nabarro, the WHO’s Special Envoy on COVID-19 said that politicians have been wrong in using lockdowns as the “primary control method” to combat COVID-19.

      “Lockdowns just have one consequence that you must never ever belittle, and that is making poor people an awful lot poorer,” said Nabarro.

      Dr. Michael Ryan, Director of the WHO’s Health Emergencies Program, offered a similar sentiment.

      “What we want to try to avoid – and sometimes it’s unavoidable and we accept that – but what we want to try and avoid is these massive lockdowns that are so punishing to communities, to society and to everything else,” said Dr. Ryan, speaking at a briefing in Geneva.

      The effects of the prolonged lockdowns on young people are now becoming more clear. A recent study from Edinburgh University says keeping schools shut down will increase the number of deaths due to COVID-19. Added to that, the study says lockdowns “prolong the epidemic, in some cases resulting in more deaths long-term.”

      If we want to avoid any more harm, we should immediately end these disastrous policies. Any fresh calls to impose lockdowns should now be viewed with the utmost skepticism.

      It’s time for the madness to end. Not only because the World Health Organization says so, but because our very lives depend on it.

      1. Who here cares about poor people that much? I mean, really, if they had done the hard work required, they wouldn’t be poor.

        “Lazy people die” is not a startling discovery.

  1. Donald is a fighter. He loves this country and he fights for you every single day. For the first time in history, the citizens of this country get to hear directly and instantly from their president every single day through social media. I do not always agree with the way he says things but it is important to him that he speaks directly to the people he serves. This administration chooses to keep moving forward during this pandemic, not backward. By moving forward, we demonstrate a fundamental value of our nation. Our ability to rise to any challenge and overcome any hurdle. We do not close down or hide in fear. We get to work to find real and lasting solutions. It’s what sets us apart from any other country in the world.

    It’s how we came from 13 small colonies to the global leader. Our schools, restaurants, and business, large or small, have developed safer ways for people to continue moving forward. Our administration remains 100% supportive of ensuring our nation is equipped with all the medical supplies we need and getting a vaccine developed and distributed safely and quickly as possible. This is something that both political parties should support, encourage, and celebrate. No one should be promoting fear of real solutions for purely political ends.

    The Democrats have chosen to put their own agendas ahead of the American people’s wellbeing. Instead, they attempt to create a divide, a divide on something that should be nonpartisan and non-controversial. A divide that causes confusion and fear instead of hope and security. That is not leadership. Let us also not forget what the Democrats chose to focus on when COVID-19 first came into our country.

    While the President was taking decisive action to keep the American people safe, the Democrats were wasting American taxpayer dollars in a sham impeachment. They cared more about removing our elected president. Meanwhile, I watched Donald continue to work hard to keep people informed and calm, to protect our economy and make hard and unpopular decisions to the do all he could do to keep us all safe. This sham was led by opposition and their display of hatred is on display to this day. Children watching and learning about politics in our country deserve a better display of political responsibility and respect for our sacred institutions.

    Joe Biden attacked President Trump’s decision to put the American people first and closing travel from China. He called it xenophobic hysteria. Now he suggests that he could have done a better job. The American people can look at Joe Biden’s 36 years in Congress and eight years in the Vice Presidency and determine whether they think he will finally be able to get something done for the American people.

    —— First Lady Melania Trump, Atglen, PA October 27, 2020

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