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