Lockdown worries, oil drag European stocks lower

FILE PHOTO: The German share price index DAX graph is pictured at the stock exchange in Frankfurt, Germany, March 18, 2021. REUTERS/Staff

(Reuters) – European stocks slid on Friday, erasing a large part of the weekly gains, after France imposed fresh regional lockdowns to curb the spread of the coronavirus amid signs of slowing vaccination in some countries.

The pan-European STOXX 600 fell 0.6% by 0809 GMT, tracking a dour session on Wall Street overnight after U.S. bond yields surged.

France’s CAC 40 was down 0.7% after the nation imposed a new four-week lockdown from Friday in 16 regions badly hit by the health crisis.

Oil & gas, banks, and miners led the declines as the fresh lockdowns dampened hopes of a swift economic rebound.

Shares in BP, Royal Dutch Shell and Total fell between 1.8% and 2.9% after crude prices plunged almost 7% overnight on fears the new lockdowns will hurt fuel demand.

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