Title: European Stocks Sharply Lower; Covid Fears Overshadow Healthy PMIs
Nov 23, 2021 03:46AM ET
European stock markets fell sharply on Tuesday. The recent wave of COVID-19 cases on the continent has weighed on sentiment as more closures loom.
At 3:45 AM ET (0845 GMT), Germany's DAX was trading 1.3% lower, France's CAC 40 was also down 1.3%, and the UK's FTSE 100 fell 0.6%.
Austria reimposed a national freeze on Monday to combat a fresh surge in COVID-19 cases and investors fearing that neighboring Germany, the eurozone's main growth engine, will soon follow suit.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel described the situation as worse than anything her country has experienced before, and Health Minister Jens Spahn gave a blunt assessment of the situation facing the country.
These fears overshadowed better-than-expected PMI data for both Germany and France, which suggested that businesses continued to do well despite the recent surge in COVID cases.
The Purchasing Managers' Index for the key German manufacturing sector, a major growth driver for the region, came in at 57.6, down slightly from the previous month's reading of 57.8.
In the corporate sector, shares in E.ON fell 3.5 percent after the European Union's biggest operator of energy networks said on Tuesday it would invest about 27 billion euros ($30 billion) in its core business by 2026 while preparing for an environmentally friendly future.