European Stocks Close Weak On Geopolitical Tensions, China Covid Concerns

European stocks closed on a weak note on Monday as investors stayed wary of making significant moves due to concerns over a surge in Covid-19 cases in China, and rising geopolitical tensions.

Lingering worries about inflation and possibility of central banks continuing with their aggressive rate hikes weighed as well.

The pan European Stoxx 600 edged down 0.06%. Germany's DAX drifted down 0.36%, while the U.K.'s FTSE 100 and France's CAC 40 ended lower by 0.12% and 0.15%, respectively. Switzerland's SMI gained 0.36%.

Among other markets in Europe, Austria, Belgium, Finland, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Russia and Sweden closed weak.

Denmark, Greece, Ireland and Turkiye closed higher, while Czech Republic, Iceland, Portugal and Spain ended flat.

Fears of a potential escalation in the Russia-Ukraine conflict following recent shelling around the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant hurt sentiment.

The International Atomic Energy Agency has called for "urgent measures to help prevent a nuclear accident" in the Russian-occupied facility, of which it said parts were damaged but showed no signs of a radiation leak.

Mining and oil stocks fell sharply on weak commodity prices amid worries about outlook for demand due to rising Covid cases in China and imposition of stringent restrictions in several cities in the country.

In the UK market, Harbour Energy tumbled more than 8%. Ocado Group ended nearly 5% down. BP, M&G, Entain, CP, Shell, Prudential, Anglo American Plc and Rio Tinto lost 2 to 4%.

Rentokil Initial, Smiths Group, GSK, Relx, RS Group, Endeavour Mining, Bunzl, Unilever, Reckitt Benckiser, BAE Systems, National Grid, AstraZeneca adn Diageo gained 1 to 2.5%.

Virgin Money shares soared 15% after the British lender reported better-than-expected full-year results and announced a £50 million ($59.4 million) share buyback program.

In Paris, Total Energies fell 2.8%

Teleperformance, BNP Paribas and Schneider Electric lost 1 to 1.4%.

Pernod Ricard, Thales, Bouygues, Sanofi, Danone and Renault gained 1 to 2%.

In the German market, Adidas, Covestro, Zalando, Puma, Siemens, Vonovia, Deutsche Wohnen and Symrise ended lower by 2 to 4%.

BASF, Porsche Automobil, Deutsche Post, Infineon Technologies, Volkswagen, Sartorius and Fresenius Medical Care also ended notably lower.

Qiagen rallied 2.5%. Deutsche Telekom, Bayer, Linde and SAP gained 1 to 1.2%.

In economic releases, German producer price inflation eased more-than-expected in October to reach its lowest level in four months, data from Destatis showed.

Producer prices climbed 34.5% year-over-year in October, slower than the 45.8% surge in September. That was also well below the 41.5% rise expected by economists.

On a monthly basis, producer prices decreased 4.2% in October, reversing a 2.3% rise in September.

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