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European stocks slump after U.S. stimulus bill stalls

European stocks traded sharply lower in early action Monday, after the U.S. Senate failed to advance a motion to provide stimulus to counter the economic effort of shutdowns.

The Stoxx Europe 600
SXXP,
-4.40%

, down over 32% over the last five weeks, fell 4.8% to 279.02.

The major regional indexes in Europe also suffered, with the German DAX
DAX,
-3.34%

, French CAC 40
PX1,
-3.70%

and the U.K. FTSE 100
UKX,
-4.31%

all retreating.

U.S. stock futures
ES00,
-3.23%

also fell, as did Brent crude-oil futures
BRN00,
-5.41%

.

The U.S. Senate, shorthanded as one senator tested positive for coronavirus and others quarantined themselves, did not advance a bill on the stimulus package, as talks still continued between key Republican and Democratic figures.

Germany meanwhile may authorize more than 350 billion euros in new debt, according to reports, as Chancellor Angela Merkel was quarantined after coming into a contact with a virus-carrying doctor. The U.K. after markets closed on Friday rolled out a program that would guarantee most of the pay of workers kept on the payroll.

There have been 341,365 confirmed coronavirus cases globally, with 14,759 deaths and nearly 100,000 recoveries. Italy has had the most fatalities at 5,476, according to the Johns Hopkins tracker of official government data.

European companies announced cost-cutting moves in response.

Airbus
AIR,
-5.73%

dropped over 8% as the planemaker said it is canceling planned dividend payments and lining up 15 billion euros in new credit.

Royal Dutch Shell
RDSA,
+1.63%

fell 2% as it said it’s halting its buyback program as it announced cuts to operational and capital spending to boost its free cash flow by up to $9 billion before tax. Another major European oil company, Total
FP,
+1.98%

, declined 3% as it said it’s halting its stock buyback plan as it cuts costs.

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