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European Stocks Close Weak On Virus Worries

European markets ended notably lower on Monday as worries about rising coronavirus cases and tighter lockdown restrictions in the U.K., Germany and several other places across the continent outweighed optimism about additional fiscal stimulus in the U.S.

A weak trend in the U.S. market, and rising tensions between the U.S. and China weighed as well.

On Friday, U.S. President-elect Joe Biden pledged to come up with a massive economic stimulus. He said it will be "in the trillions of dollars," and will include $2,000 direct payments to Americans and aid for small businesses.

The pan European Stoxx 600 slid 0.67%. The U.K.'s FTSE 100 ended down 1.09%, Germany's DAX lost 0.8% and France's CAC 40 shed 0.78%, while Switzerland's SMI advanced 0.67%.

Among other markets in Europe, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, Greece, Iceland, Ireland, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Spain, Sweden and Turkey ended with sharp to moderate losses.

Russia moved higher, while Austria and Ukraine ended flat.

In the UK market, Compass Group, Informa, Land Securities, Coca-Cola HBC, Avast, Ferguson, Diageo, Sainsbury, BHP Group, IAG, Anglo American, Standard Life and Glencore ended lower by 2 to 4.4%.

Smith & Nephew shares declined sharply after the company said its fourth-quarter underlying revenue will likely fall 7%.

JD Sports saw some buying after the company forecast full-year profit to be "significantly ahead" of market expectations.

In France, WorldLine, Vinci, Valeo, Capgemini, Sodexo, Accor, Peugeot, Publicis Groupe and Air France-KLM shed 1.6 to 4%, while STMicroElectronics, Sanofi, Carrefour and Vivendi closed higher.

In the German market, Wirecard shares tumbled more than 40%. Fresenius, Lufthansa, Continental, MTU Aero Engines, Fresenius Medical Care, Infineon Technologies and BMW lost 1.6 to 2.8%. Merck closed higher by about 1.5%.

In economic news, survey data from Sentix showed Eurozone investor confidence rose to a positive level in January for the first time since early 2020 as investors became more confident about vaccination strategy, ignoring the current lockdowns.

The investor sentiment index rose to 1.3 in January from -2.7 in December. This was the first positive score since February 2020 and was above economists' forecast of 0.7.

At -26.5, the current situation index advanced to an 11-month high from -30.3 logged in December. Similarly, the expectations index rose to a record high of 33.5 from 29.3 in the previous month.

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