The European stock market rallied on Tuesday thanks to gains by Volkswagen AG Vz (DE:VOWG_p), but new worries over COVID-19 intensified.
Germany's DAX index traded 0.5% higher, France's CAC 40 rose 0.1% and Britain's FTSE was up 0.5%.
Global stock indices have shown a significant rise over the past few months as investors expressed confidence in the post-pandemic recovery of the global economy amid extraordinary amounts of monetary and fiscal stimulus.
On Tuesday morning the UBS bank raised its view of China's economic growth to 9% this year, up from its previous forecast of 8.2% growth.
However, confidence in Europe is weakening as fears of a new wave of COVID-19 virus hitting the continent grow. Coronavirus infection in Germany is spreading exponentially and has risen by 20% in the past week, an expert at the Robert Koch Institute for Infectious Diseases said on Tuesday, while the French health ministry said on Monday night that a new variant of the coronavirus had been detected in Brittany.
Oil prices fell on Tuesday, with traders taking profits after recent gains ahead of the release of key US crude stockpile data from the American Petroleum Institute in the session a little later.
US crude stocks are rising as production continues a slow recovery after an unexpected cold snap in February in Texas and surrounding areas.
US WTI crude futures fell 1% to 64.65 dollars a barrel, while the Brent contract fell 0.9% to 68.23 dollars. Both contracts rose last week to their highest levels since the pandemic began.
Gold futures rose 0.1% to 1730.45 dollars an ounce, while EUR/USD fell 0.1% to 1.1926.