January 29, 2021: European stock markets sank heavily at the open on Friday as investors continued to fret over the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.
In initial trade, London's benchmark FTSE 100 index lost 1.6 percent at 6,420.96 points.
In the eurozone, Frankfurt's DAX 30 shed 1.8 percent to 13,419.25 and the Paris CAC 40 declined 1.7 percent to 5,417.74.
“The last few turbulent trading sessions have all but wiped out what had been a strong start to the year,” said Richard Hunter, head of markets at Interactive Investor.
“The pandemic remains a major theme, with some havoc being caused by variants of the virus, in turn leading to further lockdowns, strengthened travel restrictions and thus a delay to any economic recovery being given the chance to take hold.”
Asian markets also suffered more losses Friday, capping a painful week for global equities that have been characterized by fears over surging infections and stuttering vaccine rollouts.