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European Shares Tumble as New Coronavirus Strain Grips UK

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A more than 5 drop in travel stocks led a slump in European shares on Monday, as the rapid spread of a new strain of the coronavirus forced more stringent curbs in England and a travel ban from many countries.

The panEuropean STOXX 600 index tumbled 1.9, set for its worst session in two months, after UK imposed an effective lockdown and reversed plans to ease curbs over Christmas as the new strain was up to 70 more transmissible than the original.

Londons FTSE dropped 1.1, even as the pound sank. Germanys DAX slid 2.2. .L

This is one major negative development that just wasnt remotely priced in, said Craig Erlam, senior market analyst at OANDA Europe.

This new strain suggests that not only could it be in for a couple of months… but could make things far, far worse more restrictions, more lockdowns like were seeing in London now more of an economic toll.

Canada, as well as European neighbors Germany, Italy and the Netherlands, ordered a suspension of flights from Britain, while Frances ban also included freight carriers.

Travel and leisure stocks were on course for their worst day in three months, with British Airways owner IAG, carrier Lufthansa and travel company Tui plunging between 5.8 and 9. Cruise operator Carnival Corp shed 6.4.

As crude prices slid, energy majors BP, Total and Royal Dutch Shell lost between 3.9 and 5.4. OR

Shell was further weighed down by a 3.5 billion to 4.5 billion writedown in the value of oil and gas assets.

Weighing on sentiment…

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