Virus fears sink European stocks

European investors struggled to find grounds for optimism on Monday (October 26).

That after a weekend which saw economic activity in peril again as Spain declared a new state of emergency…

And Italy ordered all bars and restaurants to shut by 6 p.m.

The gloomy outlook saw stocks tumble in early trade, with the regional Stoxx 600 index dropping as much as 1.2% before recovering some ground.

Germany’s Dax was hit far worse, down 2.7% to hit three-month lows.

Sentiment there was further hit by bleak news from software giant SAP.

It scrapped medium-term profit targets and warned recovery would take longer than expected.

SAP shares dropped as much as 20 percent following the news.

The same pessimism weighed on oil Monday too.

International and U.S. benchmarks both dropped around 3% in early trade.

That on top of similar falls last week.

Shares in oil firms like Shell and Total fell as a result too.

Pharmaceuticals were one of the few areas to see any gains.

AstraZeneca rose as much around 1% after it said the vaccine it is developing is showing positive results in tests.