China’s COVID protests weigh on European shares; Airbus tumbles

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Europe’s STOXX 600 index fell, in line with a rout in global markets on economic jitters due to rare protests in China against stringent COVID-19 curbs, while shares of Airbus slid 5.7% on a report the planemaker may delay some jet deliveries.

The pan-European index closed 0.7% lower, slipping from last week’s peak which was the highest in more than three months.

Police stopped and searched people at the sites of weekend protests in Shanghai and Beijing, after crowds there and in other Chinese cities demonstrated against stringent COVID-19 measures disrupting lives three years into the pandemic.

China posted record-high COVID-19 infections on Monday, raising worries about the management of the country’s zero-COVID policy and its impact on the world’s second-largest economy.

“A widening of infections could add to supply chain interruptions, with China’s problems spilling into global markets,” Mark Haefele, chief investment officer at UBS Global Wealth Management wrote in a note to clients.

“Social discontent related to zero-COVID adds to execution and implementation risks for the government. We do not expect economic or market headwinds in China to abate significantly over the coming months.”

European oil stocks dipped 1.4% as crude prices fell on worries about the outlook for the world’s biggest crude importer, while China-exposed automakers and luxury, also slipped.

The benchmark STOXX 600 notched its sixth consecutive weekly gain on Friday, marking a recovery of about 15% from its September lows on hopes that the Federal Reserve will shift to smaller interest rate hike amid signs of cooling U.S. economy.

U.S. jobs data later this week might shift expectations around the Fed’s policy move in December, with traders currently anticipating a 50-basis-point rate hike.

Preliminary reading of euro zone inflation for November is due on Wednesday, with the numbers expected to show a slight cooling from the record levels hit in October.

via Reuters

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