October 15, 2020: Europe's major stock markets dropped in opening deals on Thursday, after losses in Asia and the US, as investors took profits amid fading US stimulus hopes, mixed bank earnings, and ongoing coronavirus woes.
In initial trade, London's benchmark FTSE 100 index of leading blue-chip companies sank 1.5 percent to 5,847.59 points.
In the eurozone, Frankfurt's DAX 30 index shed 1.6 percent to 12,824.50 points and the Paris CAC 40 lost 1.4 percent to 4,874.21.
Asia was weighed down Thursday by concerns about the reimposition of virus lockdowns, stalled vaccine and treatment trials — and dimming hopes of new US stimulus any time soon.
“With stimulus hopes fading fast and a mixed set of performances from the US banks, markets succumbed to a bout of profit-taking,” said analyst Richard Hunter at online broker Interactive Investor.
Traders were also reacting to “an increasing number of renewed lockdowns, with Covid-19 resurfacing uncomfortably in some areas and with hopes of an imminent vaccine in some doubt”, he added.
Investors tracked another sell-off in New York, where all three main indexes turned negative after Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin warned that while talks continued, Republicans and Democrats were still “far apart” on a rescue package.
While the broad view is that a new spending package will get passed eventually, the comments reinforced expectations that there will be nothing before next month's presidential and congressional elections.