UPDATE 2-Virus fears push European stocks to worst week since June

Reuters

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    * European banks slide to a fresh all-time low 
    * Auto stocks slide as British car production slumps
    * Betting firm William Hill soars after takeover report  

 (Updates to market close)
    By Sruthi Shankar
    Sept 25 (Reuters) - European stocks recorded their worst
weekly decline since mid-June on Friday, as investors feared
that a second wave of coronavirus infections will hamper
economic recovery, while banking stocks sank to an all-time low.
 
    The pan-European STOXX 600 index  .STOXX  slipped 0.1%,
failing to match Wall Street gains on signs that U.S. lawmakers
were making progress on a $2.2 trillion stimulus package that
could be voted on next week.  urn:newsml:reuters.com:*:nL2N2GL1UE
    The index shed 3.6% in a week dominated by concerns about
new coronavirus restrictions in Europe, a faltering stock rally
in Wall Street's technology giants and worrying economic data
from both sides of the Atlantic. 
    France and Britain set new records of daily COVID-19
infections on Thursday, while the Spanish government recommended
reimposing a partial lockdown on all of the city of Madrid after
the country surpassed 700,000 cases, the highest number in
Western Europe.  urn:newsml:reuters.com:*:nL5N2GM2D8  urn:newsml:reuters.com:*:nL5N2GL5WV
    "New restrictions in Europe, less fiscal support, fading
liquidity impulse and election risk should weigh on activity in
Q4," European equity strategists at Barclays wrote in a note.
"Economic surprises are starting to roll over from all-time high
levels."
    European banks  .SX7P  sank to a fresh record low as
investors shunned the sector hit by a cocktail of lower global
borrowing costs, rising bad loans due to the economic downturn
and dirty money scandal that made it the worst performer this
week. 
    British betting firm William Hill  WMH.L  surged 43.5% after
revealing that it had received rival takeover proposals from
buyout firm Apollo  APO.N  and U.S. casino operator Caesars
Entertainment  CZR.O .  urn:newsml:reuters.com:*:nL3N2GM2P8
    Ladbrokes and bwin brand owner GVC  GVC.L  jumped 16.7% and
Paddy Power owner Flutter Entertainment  FLTRF.I   FLTRF.L 
gained 6.8%, helping reverse early losses in travel & leisure
stocks  .SXTP , which were up 3.2%.
    Still, worries about new travel restrictions weighed on
airlines, with British Airways-owner IAG  ICAG.L , Lufthansa
 LHAG.DE  and Air France KLM  AIRF.PA  down between 0.6% and
3.3%.
    Automakers  .SXAP  fell 1.4% after an industry body said
British car production fell by an annual 45% in August, as the
sector continues to suffer due to the fallout from the virus
outbreak.  urn:newsml:reuters.com:*:nL5N2GL4BR
    Paris Match publisher Lagardere  LAGA.PA  surged 32.3% after
billionaire Bernard Arnault revealed he had built up a direct
stake in the firm, which is under siege from several other
investors.  urn:newsml:reuters.com:*:nL5N2GL5HR
    Swedish home appliance maker Electrolux  ELUXb.ST  rose 2.9%
after saying that it would propose reinstating dividends after a
recovery in earnings and cash flows during the third quarter.
 urn:newsml:reuters.com:*:nL5N2GM105

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European bank stocks vs the broader market    https://tmsnrt.rs/2RUz0U0
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 (Reporting by Sruthi Shankar in Bengaluru; Editing by Saumyadeb
Chakrabarty, Shounak Dasgupta and Peter Graff)
 ((sruthi.shankar@thomsonreuters.com; within U.S. +1 646 223
8780; outside U.S. +91 80 6182 2787))

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