European Shares Fall As Virus Worries Mount

asian market down 10feb20 lt

European stocks edged lower on Monday amid rising concerns over the severity of the coronavirus, which has infected more than 40,600 people globally.

WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus voiced concern over the spread from people with no travel history to China, saying "we may only be seeing the tip of the iceberg."

Investors also kept an eye on political developments in Ireland, where Prime Minister Leo Varadkar was re-elected by a narrow margin as a member of the lower house of the Irish parliament in the country's general election.

The pan-European Stoxx 600 dropped 0.3 percent to 423.16 after declining 0.3 percent on Friday. The German DAX, France's CAC 40 index and the U.K.s FTSE 100 were down between 0.3 percent and 0.4 percent.

Exor, which controls Fiat Chrysler, jumped 5.5 percent after confirming Sunday that it is in exclusive talks to sell reinsurer PartnerRe to France's Covéa.

Air France KLM declined half a percent after reporting passenger traffic figures for January.

Daimler gained 1 percent. German newspaper Handelsblatt reported that the luxury carmaker plans to cut up to 15,000 jobs to reduce costs.

Miners Anglo American and Antofagasta were modestly higher in reaction to better-than-expected inflation data from China.

Workspace Group slid half a percent. The real estate investment trust has announced the appointment of David Benson as Chief Financial Officer, effective April 1.

NMC Health soared 7 percent after saying it has received two preliminary approaches from private equity firms.

Hospitality company Whitbread fell 2.7 percent and utility Centrica dropped 1.3 percent.

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