European shares slide as virus fears persist, banks drop

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The pan-European STOXX 600 index (STOXX) fell 1.1% by 0710 GMT, with banks proving a drag after a slew of negative updates.

Shares in Germany’s Commerzbank (DE:CBKG) slid 3.2% and Dutch bank ABN Amro (AS:ABNd) dropped 5.3% after swinging to a loss in the first quarter as the COVID-19 pandemic drove up loan loss provisions.

Deutsche Bank (DE:DBKGn) dropped 4.4% on news that top managers will waive one month of fixed pay in an effort to cut costs.

Investors also witnessed the biggest deal involving a European buyer collapse due to the market dislocation caused by the pandemic.

Shares in Exor (MI:EXOR), the holding firm of Italy’s Agnelli family, fell 4.3% as French insurer Covea walked away from its planned $9 billion purchase of PartnerRe, the Bermuda-based reinsurer owned by Exor.

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