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European stock markets end on a downward trend

23 February 2021
2 min.
European stock markets end on a downward trend

Trading in the red

Western European stock indices ended trading in negative territory amid cautious global market sentiment.

Some equity investors are becoming increasingly concerned about the strong rebound in bond yields in recent weeks as it could negatively impact fast-growing companies that depend on unimpeded credit and reduce the relative attractiveness of stocks, CNBC says. The rise in bond yields reflects market confidence in a speedy economic recovery from the coronavirus pandemic.

The yield on the ten-year US Treasuries surpassed 1.37% p.a. on Monday, reaching its highest level in a year.

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson said all adult subjects will be offered the first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine by the end of July. "We will aim to offer the vaccination to every adult by the end of July, helping the most vulnerable, and will take further steps to ease some of the existing restrictions", the prime minister said in a statement released. In addition, UK authorities intend to administer the first of two doses of the coronavirus vaccine to all people over 50 by 15 April.

The Stoxx Europe 600 composite index of the region's largest companies fell 0.36 per cent to 413.40 points.

Britain's FTSE 100 was down 0.18%, Germany's DAX was down 0.31% and France's CAC 40 was down 0.11%. Italian FTSE MIB lost 0.55%, Spanish IBEX 35 0.48%.

G4S PLC shares suffered the most significant losses among Stoxx Europe 600 index components, which collapsed by 9.9%. The Canadian company GardaWorld said it would not increase the size of its bid for the British security services provider.

Galp Energia SGPS SA was down 1.4%. The Portuguese energy company posted a net loss in the fourth quarter of 2020, compared with a net profit in the same period a year earlier.

Shares in French real estate investor Icade gained 4% after the company released its annual results.

Shares in Swiss Kuehne Nagel International AG (K+N) gained about 2%. One of the world's largest logistics companies bought Chinese transportation company Apex International Corporation for an undisclosed amount.

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