European stocks slip as lockdowns cloud growth outlook

FILE PHOTO: The German share price index DAX graph is pictured at the stock exchange in Frankfurt, Germany, March 24, 2021. REUTERS/Staff

(Reuters) – European stocks inched lower in early trading on Thursday as investors grew wary about the economic outlook following a new round of coronavirus restrictions in the euro zone and regulatory concerns hit Chinese stocks.

The pan-European STOXX 600 index slipped 0.4% by 0812 GMT, with oil & gas, bank and retail stocks leading the decline.

Global sentiment took a hit after a selloff in Chinese technology shares on worries that they will be de-listed from U.S. bourses, while the number of coronavirus cases in Germany saw the biggest increase since Jan. 9.

H&M dropped 1.9% after at least one Chinese online retailer appeared to drop its products following social media attacks on the Swedish company for saying it was “deeply concerned” about reports of forced labour in the farwestern region of Xinjiang in China.

Shares of German sportswear firm Adidas, which also came under fire, was down 3.2%.

Cineworld fell 6.8% after it reported a $3 billion loss for 2020 and said it will ask shareholders to approve a raise in its debt ceiling.

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