July 8, 2020 / 7:31 AM / a month ago

European shares slip as virus cases surge; HSBC, Nokia slump

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July 8 (Reuters) - European shares opened lower on Wednesday, with banks and energy firms leading the declines as surging coronavirus infections globally dimmed the prospect of a swift economic recovery.

The pan-European STOXX 600 fell 0.5% by 0714 GMT. Banks and energy firms slid more than 1%.

London-listed HSBC fell 3.5% after a report said U.S. President Donald Trump’s top advisers weighed proposals to undermine the Hong Kong currency’s peg to the U.S. dollar. The proposal could possibly limit the ability of Hong Kong banks to buy dollars.

Market sentiment soured overnight on Wall Street as the U.S. coronavirus outbreak crossed a grim milestone of over 3 million confirmed cases on Tuesday, while the World Health Organization acknowledged “evidence emerging” of the airborne spread of the coronavirus.

Finland’s Nokia slumped 6.7% after JPMorgan downgraded its stock to “neutral” on indications of a potential loss of business with U.S. telecoms company Verizon.

Europe’s home appliance maker Electrolux jumped 5.1% after saying that it would report a smaller loss than previously anticipated for the second quarter due to sales growth in June and cost mitigation actions. (Reporting by Sruthi Shankar in Bengaluru; Editing by Sriraj Kalluvila)

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