European shares set for weekly losses as virus cases surge

FILE PHOTO: A traders reacts at the stock exchange in Frankfurt, Germany, June 24, 2016, after Britain voted to leave the European Union in the EU BREXIT referendum. REUTERS/Ralph Orlowski

(Reuters) – European shares bounced from two-week lows on Friday but were still set for weekly losses after a sell-off that was marked by fears of a second wave of COVID-19 infections, Brexit-related uncertainty and doubts about more U.S. fiscal stimulus.

The pan-European STOXX 600 index .STOXX was up 0.7% after posting its worst session in more than three weeks on Thursday. Banks .SX7P, insurers .SXIP and energy .SXEP stocks, which bore the brunt of the losses this week, were up between 0.3% and 1.0%.

A resurgence in coronavirus cases across Europe has stoked fears about more sweeping lockdowns, with London and Paris – Europe’s two richest cities – again living under the shadow of state-imposed restrictions.

Focus on Friday will be on signs of progress in Brexit negotiations, with Prime Minister Boris Johnson set to give Britain’s response to the European Union’s demand that he either gives more concessions to secure a trade deal or braces for a disorderly Brexit in three months.

London stocks .FTSE.FTMC rose about 1.0% in early trading, but were still on course to snap a two-week gaining streak.

Shares of Thyssenkrupp TKAG.DE surged 24.2% as a report said privately-held Liberty Steel Group is set to bid for the ailing steel unit of the company as soon as Friday.

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