European Shares Retreat On Recovery Worries

European stocks were moving lower on Tuesday as tensions between China and the west escalated and German leaders agreed to extend the country’s coronavirus lockdown until April 18 to contain a new wave of infections.

The pan European Stoxx 600 dropped 0.4 percent to 422.46 after closing up 0.2 percent on Monday. The German DAX, France’s CAC 40 index and the U.K.’s FTSE 100 were down between 0.3 percent and half a percent.

Roche lost 1 percent. The Swiss pharma firm announced that it will discontinue dosing in a Phase III study evaluating its investigational candidate tominersen in manifest Huntington’s disease.

Novartis AG gained 0.8 percent as it announced positive results from its phase III VISION study evaluating the efficacy and safety of radioligand therapy 177Lu-PSMA-617 in patients with advanced prostate cancer.

AstraZeneca gave up 1 percent. A U.S. health agency said the drugmaker “may have included outdated information” in its initial data of the U.S. arm of Covid-19 vaccine trials.

Total SE shed 0.9 percent, BP Plc lost 2 percent and Royal Dutch Shell gave up 1.6 percent as oil prices fell about 1 percent on concerns that new pandemic curbs and slow vaccine rollouts in Europe will slow a recovery in demand.

Cineworld declined 2.7 percent after saying it planned to reopen its U.S. cinemas in April and its U.K. cinemas in May.

Chemicals businesses Elementis dropped 2.3 percent after it reported a loss for 2020.

Nordex surged 6.4 percent after the wind turbine manufacturer said it expects the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on its business to be reduced from the second quarter onwards.

In economic releases, official data showed Britain’s jobless rate unexpectedly fell to 5.0 percent in the three months to January, when the country entered a new virus lockdown. That was below economists’ forecast of 5.2 percent.

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