(For a Reuters live blog on U.S., UK and European stock
markets, click LIVE/ or type LIVE/ in a news window)
* STOXX 600 closes down 0.3%
* More drastic coronavirus curbs may be in the offing -
* Julius Baer jumps on upbeat outlook
* NASA selects Nokia to build first cellular network on moon
Oct 19 (Reuters) - European shares ended lower on Monday as
surging COVID-19 cases raised the possibility of further
economic restrictions, outweighing optimism from signs of
progress on a Brexit trade deal and hopes of fiscal stimulus in
the United States.
As daily COVID-19 cases in Italy hit a new record over the
weekend, the country approved shutting public squares from 9
p.m. to halt gatherings. In Spain, many regions toughened curbs
as the country looked set to set breach 1 million cases this
While Wales imposed a two-week lockdown, Britain's
government scientific adviser said the country needs to impose a
three-week period of national lockdown.
"With Wales, Spain, and Belgium all tightening restrictions
further... we are seeing significant fears arise over the
potential economic impact this could have upon the recovery,"
said Joshua Mahony, senior market analyst at online trader IG.
"The lockdown in Wales does highlight the potential path
forward for others, with more localized action looking a
precursor to more drastic measures."
A surging pound added to woes for London's FTSE 100
led losses, down 0.6%.
The currency rose after the European Union said it is ready
to intensify talks towards a deal on future trade ties with
Tech major SAP weighed on Germany's DAX,
while France CAC 40 turned to losses at close. Exchange
operator Euronext resumed trading after it fixed a
technical glitch that froze all transactions in Paris,
Amsterdam, Brussels and Lisbon for more than three hours.
The pan-European STOXX 600 index closed down 0.3%
after trading flat in the second half. Hopes of a COVID-19
vaccine by year-end, and signs an agreement in Washington on a
fiscal package could be reached soon, had buoyed sentiment in
At the top of STOXX 600 was Swiss wealth manager Julius Baer
which jumped 6% after it indicated an improvement in
profitability for the first nine months of 2020.
The broader financial services sector rose 1%, with
Credit Suisse and UBS rising 4.4% and 3%,
European third-quarter earnings are forecast to recover from
a pandemic-led slump, with analysts expecting companies on the
STOXX 600 to report an average 36.7% drop, compared with a 51%
drop in the previous quarter, according to Refinitiv
Nokia posted its best session in over two months
after it was selected by NASA to build the first cellular
network on the moon.
Swedish defense company Saab sank 14.3% after it
reported a fall in third-quarter profit and could not confirm
its previous financial outlook for the year.
(Reporting by Sruthi Shankar and Susan Mathew in Bengaluru;
Editing by Sriraj Kalluvila and Lisa Shumaker)