European stock exchanges returned previous gains on Monday and slumped into the red. Investors continued to focus on further easing corona measures. As of Monday, many European countries will lift some of the restrictions introduced to curb the spread of the coronavirus. New infections in, among others, South Korea, where the lockdown was eased earlier, created restraint.
Around noon, the AEX index at Beursplein 5 was 0.5 percent lower at 518.17 points. The MidKap fell 1 percent to 705.81 points. The stock exchanges in London, Paris and Frankfurt lost up to 1.1 percent.
Real estate group Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield closed the row in the AEX with a loss of 4.3 percent. ArcelorMittal fell 2.9 percent. Credit agency Moody’s has downgraded the credit rating for the steel giant to so-called junk status because of the corona crisis. Tech investor Prosus was the strongest riser with a profit of 3.1 percent.
In the MidKap, OCI fell 5.6 percent. The fertilizer producer had no production disruptions due to the pandemic last quarter and sold higher volumes compared to a year ago. The company is therefore sticking to its previously issued forecast for the current year to boost fertilizer sales.
Technology group TKH (minus 6.5 percent) was quoted ex-dividend. Postal and parcel delivery PostNL was struggling with a cut in advice from MainFirst Bank and fell 3 percent. Specialty chemical company Corbion led the medium-sized companies with a plus of 2 percent.
Henkel fell 2 percent in Frankfurt. The maker of detergents, soap and glues was struggling last quarter with the negative effects of the corona crisis and recorded less turnover. The demand for industrial adhesives in particular lagged. For example, the German company supplies to the car industry, which is hit hard by the virus outbreak. Henkel also saw sales of beauty products fall.
In London, easyJet lost 8 percent. The airline has criticized British Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s plan to require people traveling to the UK to be quarantined for 14 days.
The euro was worth $ 1.0816 against $ 1.0855 on Friday. A barrel of American oil became 3.6 percent cheaper at 23.85 euros. Brent oil cost 3.3 percent less at $ 29.94 a barrel.