European & US stocks fall amid further shutdown fears

European stocks followed Wall Street's lead, opening lower on Thursday following sharp losses as investors feared another round of shutdowns due to soaring coronavirus cases in the United States and Europe, Reuters reports.

The pan-European STOXX 600 fell 0.7% by 0810 GMT, with growth-sensitive oil and gas, banking and mining sectors leading early losses.

Encouraging news on COVID-19 vaccine had pushed the STOXX 600 to levels hit in February earlier this week and U.S. markets to record levels.

The U.S. death toll from COVID-19 approached 250,000 on Wednesday as New York City’s public schools called a halt to in-classroom instruction in the latest major restriction to curb the spread of the virus.

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