Coronavirus: European stocks sink amid surge in infections

Aid workers bring food to families that are quarantined by a meat processor in the city of Rheda-Wiedenbrück in Germany after an outbreak of the corona virus. Photo: Martin Meissner / AP photo
European stocks fell on Wednesday as new outbreaks in Germany and Japan and a "worrying surge" in the US raised fears of an increase in coronavirus cases around the world.
The pan-European STOXX 600 index (^ STOXX) fell by around 1.8%. The London FTSE 100 (^ FTSE) declined by around 2.3%.
The German DAX (^ GDAXI) declined by around 2.2%, while the French CAC 40 (^ FCHI) fell 1.9%.
Late Tuesday, officials of the state of North Rhine-Westphalia imposed a second local ban after more than 1,500 workers in a meat processing plant had tested positive for coronavirus.
READ MORE: Conditions in meat factories cause problems with the outbreak of COVID-19 in Europe
Daily infections in Tokyo reached their highest level in nearly two months on Tuesday, while Anthony Fauci, the leading infectious disease expert in the White House, warned that the United States saw a "disruptive increase" in coronavirus cases.
Seven U.S. states - Arizona, Arkansas, California, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Texas - reported a record number of coronavirus hospitalizations on Tuesday.
"This is not a second wave, but a continuation of the first," said Connor Campbell, financial analyst at Spreadex.
"Understandably, investors were fairly concerned about this news, especially given the recent outbreak in Beijing, a new cluster of cases in Tokyo, a record one-day for new cases in Mexico, and Monday's reports that the German R rate The crucial level 1 follows due to thousands of cases in a slaughterhouse, ”he said.
The declines in Europe followed a largely positive session in Asia, where stocks reached a four-month high overall.
READ MORE: British companies have owed GBP 133 billion since the blockade began
China's SSE Composite Index (^ SSEC) rose 0.3% on Wednesday, while Hong Kong's Hang Seng (^ HSI) fell less than 0.1% at the close of the market.
The Japanese Nikkei (^ N225) also closed at less than 0.1%, while the KOSPI Composite Index (^ KOSPI) rose by 1.4% in South Korea. The Australian ASX 200 (^ AXJO) rose slightly more than 0.1%.
The futures indicated a lower open for US stocks on Wednesday.
S&P 500 futures (ES = F) fell more than 1.1%, while Dow Jones Industrial Average futures (YM = F) fell 1.2%. Meanwhile, the Nasdaq futures (NQ = F) fell by around 0.8%.

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