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European Stocks Close Lower on Fears Over Increasing COVID-19 Cases

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Last updated: 07/19/2021 12:50:51

12:50 PM EDT, 07/19/2021 (MT Newswires) -- European stocks closed Monday in red as fears of another wave of the COVID-19 pandemic worried investors, even as the UK relaxed all the restrictions amid increasing cases.

The Swiss Market Index was down 2.6%, the Stoxx Europe 600 and the FTSE 100 in the UK fell 2.3%, the French CAC was down 2.5%, and the German Dax fell 2.6%.

The UK and the European Union issued separate statements saying that they found that Chinese parties were behind a hacking incident earlier in the year. The UK accused China of "systematic cyber sabotage" and said the hackers gained access to Microsoft Exchange servers across the world. The European Council added that it also found cyberattacks on government institutions and political groups in the bloc.

Moving to the Brexit saga, the UK is preparing to warn the European Union that it may turn away from the Brexit deal if the bloc does not tweak its Northern Ireland protocol, Reuters reported Monday, citing sources from both sides. British minister David Frost is expected to present a paper to the parliament with potential changes to the protocol on Wednesday that are likely to make a significant impact on the country's relationship with EU, Reuters added.

The eurozone's seasonally adjusted construction output edged up 0.9% month on month in May and was 13.6% higher than a year earlier, according Eurostat. Across the European Union, construction output increased 0.7% month on month and was up 11.6% from May 2020.

On the corporate front, Sumo Group's (SUMO.L) shares were up 39% after unveiling an agreement to be acquired by Chinese tech giant Tencent (0LEA.L) for 919 million pounds sterling ($1.26 billion).

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