UPDATE 2-European stocks end lower on new coronavirus wave, lockdown restrictions

  • Reuters
  • Stock Market News
UPDATE 2-European stocks end lower on new coronavirus wave, lockdown restrictions

(For a Reuters live blog on U.S., UK and European stock markets, click LIVE/ or type LIVE/ in a news window)

* England to introduce fine on travel abroad

* Volvo slumps as chip shortage to hit production

* Germany tightens restrictions during Easter (Adds comments, updates prices throughout)

By Sruthi Shankar and Shreyashi Sanyal

March 23 (Reuters) - European stocks eased from a one-year peak on Tuesday, as a new wave of coronavirus infection and a fresh lockdown in Germany raised fears of a slow economic recovery from the pandemic.

The pan-European STOXX 600 index .STOXX fell 0.2% after a new round of sanctions aimed at China hit Asian markets. MKTS/GLOB

Germany's DAX .GDAXI was flat after Chancellor Angela Merkel decided to extend a lockdown until April 18 and called on citizens to stay at home for five days over the Easter holidays. truckmaker Volvo VOLVb.ST slumped 7.0% after it warned a shortage of semiconductors would have a substantial impact on production in the second quarter. stock weighed on Europe's industrial goods and services sector .SXNP , while automakers .SXAP slid 2.7% to give back some of their recent gains.

"Now fears of another wave of the virus in mainland Europe have sparked worries that several countries in the region will have to reopen their economies later than anticipated," said David Madden, market analyst at CMC (NS: CMC ) Markets.

"The mood isn't awful, traders aren't running for the hills, but there is a sense of fatigue that the restrictive climate will drag on a bit longer."

The STOXX 600 last week climbed to its highest since February, recouping most of the pandemic-driven losses on hopes that vaccination drives and stimulus measures will spur a strong economic rebound.

The gains have slowed this week amid worries about a surge in COVID-19 cases. The tally of new cases in France accelerated despite the start of a third lockdown, while Austria postponed the reopening of cafe and restaurants. & leisure stocks .SXTP fell again, with British Airways-owner IAG ICAG.L , easyJet EZJ.L and travel company TUI TUIT.L down between 2.6% and 6%.

British health minister Matt Hancock said fines of 5,000 pounds ($6,900) would be introduced for people from England who try to travel abroad before the end of June. drugmaker Roche ROG.S fell 1.7% after it dropped a late-stage trial of its Huntington's disease treatment hope, tominersen. online pharmacy chain Zur Rose ROSEG.S surged to the top of STOXX 600 after Morgan Stanley (NYSE: MS ) started coverage with an "overweight" rating.

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