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European Markets Close Weak On Growth Worries

European markets ended notably lower on Monday as stocks tumbled, weighed down by rising worries about growth due to a surge in coronavirus cases, tighter lockdown restrictions and possible delay in vaccine supplies.

AstraZeneca and Pfizer have said that they are unlikely to meet vaccine delivery targets to Europe in the coming weeks. Disappointing business data from Germany hurt as well.

Investors were also looking ahead to the Federal Reserve's monetary policy decision. The central bank's policy decision and briefing by Chair Jerome Powell are scheduled for Wednesday.

The pan European Stoxx 600 slid 0.83%. The U.K.'s FTSE 100 ended down 0.84%, Germany's DAX tumbled 1.66% and France's CAC 40 shed 1.57%, while Switzerland's SMI edged down marginally.

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

Turkey edged down marginally, while Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland and Russia closed higher.

Travel-realted stocks, which reeled under pressure due to tighter restrictions on movements, were among the most prominent losers.

In the UK market, IAG ended nearly 8% down. Melrose, Compass Group, Rolls-Royce Holdings, Informa, Anglo American, Barclays Group, Burberry Group, Glencore, IHG, Smith Ds, Legal & General, BP and CRH lost 3 to 5.6%. Royal Dutch Shell, Prudential, Lloyds Banking Group and Natwest Group also declined sharply.

AstraZeneca advanced 1.5% after it announced positive high-level results from the ELEVATE-RR Phase III trial of Calquence against ibrutinib in chronic lymphocytic leukaemia.

Reckitt Benckiser, Ocado Group, Severn Trent, United Utilities, Scottish Mortgage, Unilever and Pennon Group gained 2 to 4.5%.

In the French market, Valeo, Accor, Airbus, Societe Generale, BNP Paribas, Renault, Credit Agricole, Sodexo, Safran, Bouygues, Technip, ArcelorMittal, Publicis Groupe, Air France-KLM and Atos lost 2.5 to 5.2%.

Dassault Systemes, Unibail Rodamco, LOreal and Carrefour ended on a firm note.

In Germany, MTU Aero Engines, HeidelbergCement, Volkswagen, Continental, Siemens, Lufthansa, Deutsche Bank, Adidas, Daimler, Thyssenkrupp and Infineon Technologies lost 2 to 5%, while Vonovia and Merck closed notably higher.

In economic news, survey results from the ifo institute said German business confidence weakened in January. The business confidence index fell to 90.1 in January from revised 92.2 in the previous month. The score was forecast to drop moderately to 91.8.

Current assessment as well as expectations deteriorated in January. The current assessment index slid to 89.2, which was below the expected reading of 90.6. Likewise, the expectations index decreased to 91.1, which was also below the consensus forecast of 93.2.

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