January 28, 2021: European stocks hit a near one-month low on Thursday following Wall Street's worst sell-off since October on concerns about high valuations, with investors also growing wary about a rise in more contagious coronavirus variants.
The pan-European STOXX 600 fell 1% by 0812 GMT, turning negative for the year, while major regional bourses like Germany's DAX and France CAC 40 slid further into the red and UK's FTSE 100 held on to slim gains for the year.
Investors looked past strong earnings from Apple and Facebook overnight as well as the U.S. Federal Reserve's pledge to stick to loose monetary policy as worries about the slow rollout of COVID-19 vaccines and more curbs in Europe weighed on the mood.
Germany is preparing entry restrictions for travelers from Britain, Brazil, and South Africa, while its health minister expects the current shortage of coronavirus vaccines to continue well into April.
Miners, technology, oil & gas and were the biggest decliners among sectors – falling between 1.5% and 1.6%.
Diageo jumped 4% after the world's largest spirits maker reported a surprise rise in underlying net sales growth in the first half of the year, helped by strong U.S. demand.