A sea of red descended on the European stock markets as renewed fears of the spread of the delta variant drained the euphoria in the major European bourses. While the German, French and U.K benchmarks have shaved off around 2 percent, the Stoxx 600 and SMI 20 are better off with slightly lesser declines. Travel and leisure stocks are bearing the brunt of the feared fatigue in virus fights, whereas energy stocks are under pressure in the backdrop of oversupply concerns-driven dip in crude oil prices.

U.K.’s FTSE 100 plunged from the previous closing level of 7008.09 to 6868.83, and is currently trading close to the day’s low at 6873.08, with a cut of 1.93 percent over previous close. Of the 101-scrip index, only 2 scrips are resisting the carnage with an uptick of less than 0.05 percent.

Central bank comments on sooner-than-expected withdrawal of stimulus to combat mounting inflation, fears of delta variant derailing economic recovery as well as the slide in energy shares impacted sentiment on a day when U.K lifted most pandemic related restrictions.

France’s CAC 40 opened at 6398.84 but dipped to low of 6317.23, a drop of more than 2 percent as sentiment remained rather weak on renewed fears of the virus transmission. Currently all constituents of the 40-scrip index are trading below the previous close.

Germany’s DAX 30 is currently trading near multi-week low of 15227.25, after declining 2.11 percent from Friday’s close. Except Deutsche Wohnen which has advanced by 0.27 percent, all scrips in the 30-scrip index are in negative territory. The sentiment was also impacted by the recent weather disaster as well as concerns over the nascent economic recovery.

Switzerland’s Stock Market Index is also down from previous close and is currently trading near 11876.47 after losing 1.25 percent.

The pan-European Stoxx 600 too declined by 1.89 percent from previous close and is currently trading at 446.29.

European bourses had closed the previous week on a weak note with the DAX 30 declining by 0.57 percent, CAC 40 slipping by 0.51 percent, pan-European Stoxx 600 losing 0.32 percent and the FTSE 100 slipping by 0.06 percent. The Swiss SMI however had bucked the trend to gain 0.42 percent.

On Friday, the Nasdaq 100 had closed at 14681.38, down by 113.31 points or 0.77 percent whereas the Dow Jones Industrial Average had closed at 34687.85, down by 0.86 percent as markets remained unconvinced of the transitory nature of the inflation surge, despite accommodative comments from Fed officials.

The ECB is scheduled to meet on Thursday and investors are keenly awaiting the central bank’s monetary policy stance and the likely trade-off between inflation and growth.

UK’s Gfk consumer Confidence numbers are due on Friday and Germany’s Ifo Business Climate numbers for July are due on Monday. The earnings season updates, the flash PMIs as well as the retail sales numbers due are all expected to provide markets some refreshing perspectives to help look beyond the delta despair.

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