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European Bourses Close Mixed as Markets Track Efforts to Contain COVID-19; Credit Suisse Plunges

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Last updated: 03/29/2021 12:30:56

12:30 PM EDT, 03/29/2021 (MT Newswires) -- European stocks were mixed at market close on Monday as investors continued to tracked the continent's efforts to contain the COVID-19 spread, while Swiss bank Credit Suisse (CSGN.SW, CS) plunged after a US-based hedge fund defaulted on margin calls made last week.

The European Stoxx 600 was up 0.2% while the FTSE 100 was flat with a negative bias. The German DAX and the French CAC 40 were both up 0.5% each while the Swiss Market Index was down 0.2%.

The European Commission is hosting a pan-European matchmaking event to expand the bloc's COVID-19 vaccine production capacities and address production and supply chain bottlenecks. The two-day event will see the participation of 300 companies from 25 member states and look to boost connections between vaccine producers and service companies, including contract development and manufacturing organizations, fill and finish, and equipment producers.

The UK will commence talks with the European Union to prevent the potential ban on AstraZeneca's (AZN.L, AZN.ST) COVID-19 vaccine deliveries from the Netherlands, the Telegraph reported. The government plans to urge the bloc to consider the British public's investment in the development of the vaccine shot before blocking its shipments.

Meanwhile, Britain will start giving out the COVID-19 vaccine developed by US-based Moderna (MRNA) in April and has ordered 17 million doses, the Financial Times reported, citing culture secretary Oliver Dowden.

The Bank of England said that mortgage borrowing levels surged to the strongest level since March 2016 in February as approvals rose year over year. Net mortgage borrowing was at 6.2 billion pounds sterling ($8.57 billion) in February, up from 5.2 billion pounds in January. There were 87,700 mortgage approvals for house purchase in the month, up from the year-ago level but down from the 99,000 recorded a month earlier.

Among individual stocks, Credit Suisse plunged 13.8% after it warned of a "highly significant" hit to Q1 results after an unnamed US-based hedge fund defaulted on margin calls. The Swiss lender said that it and a number of other banks have begun exiting their positions with the said hedge fund.

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