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European Shares Slide as Pandemic Jitters Return

(Reuters) - European shares tumbled on Friday on fears of a severe and lasting economic hit from the coronavirus pandemic after a report raised doubts about progress in developing a treatment for COVID-19.

The pan-European STOXX 600 index was down 1.1% at 0719 GMT, with London's FTSE 100 shedding 1.3% as data showed UK retail sales crashed in March.

Global equity markets headed lower as a closely watched Gilead Sciences Inc experimental drug failed to help patients with severe COVID-19 in a clinical trial, even as the drugmaker said findings were inconclusive because the study was terminated early.

All the major European sectors fell in early trading, with the banking index .SX7P leading the declines as S&P cut Commerzbank’s credit rating by a notch and lowered its outlook for Deutsche Bank to negative from stable.

Reporting by Sagarika Jaisinghani in Bengaluru; Editing by Saumyadeb Chakrabarty

Source: Reuters

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