BRUSSELS - 13 May 2020: European shares fell on Wednesday, as investors feared a surge in COVID-19 cases after several hard-hit countries started to ease lockdowns, while rising U.S.-China tensions also dented sentiment.
The pan-European STOXX 600 index fell 1.1 percent by 0710 GMT, with banks proving a drag after a slew of negative updates.
Shares in Germany’s Commerzbank slid 3.2 percent and Dutch bank ABN Amro dropped 5.3 percent after swinging to a loss in the first quarter as the COVID-19 pandemic drove up loan loss provisions.
Deutsche Bank dropped 4.4 percent on news that top managers will waive one month of fixed pay in an effort to cut costs.
Investors also witnessed the biggest deal involving a European buyer collapse due to the market dislocation caused by the pandemic.
Shares in Exor, the holding firm of Italy’s Agnelli family, fell 4.3 percent as French insurer Covea walked away from its planned $9 billion purchase of PartnerRe, the Bermuda-based reinsurer owned by Exor.