Stocks

Virus concerns weigh on European stocks ahead of ECB policy decision

Reuters January 23 | Updated on January 23, 2020 Published on January 23, 2020

The pan-European STOXX 600 index was flat. File Photo   -  Bloomberg

The pan-European STOXX 600 index dropped 0.4 per cent on a 0.8 per cent drop in the energy sub-sector

European shares fell in early trading on Thursday, hit by worries over the spread of a new flu-like virus in China, with investors also bracing for the European Central Bank's first policy decision of the year.

The pan-European STOXX 600 index dropped 0.4 per cent at 0806 GMT as the energy sub-sector slipped 0.8 per cent, tracking a slide in oil prices on concerns that the virus outbreak may dent fuel demand.

Auto stocks hit fresh three-month lows after US President Donald Trump threatened to impose high tariffs on imports of cars from the European Union if the bloc doesn't agree to a trade deal.

While the ECB is expected to leave its monetary policy on hold, the bank's president, Christine Lagarde, is set to launch a broad review of policy that is likely to see her redefine the central bank's main goal and how to achieve it.

Among individual stocks, Apple-supplier STMicroelectronics gained 4.6 per cent and was the top performer on the benchmark index, after the chipmaker reported fourth-quarter sales and gross margin above the mid-point of its forecast

Published on January 23, 2020
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