- Several European countries reimposed lockdowns as cases surged.
- International oil prices plunged nearly 4% in intraday trading.
- The COMEX gold contract rose $1.60, or 0.08%, to close at $1,908.90 per ounce.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), there are currently more than 7.2 million cases of new coronavirus across Europe, and the number of hospitalizations is increasing at an alarming rate. European stock markets fell across the board.There were more than 30,000 new confirmed cases in France in a single day on Thursday.
The pan-European Stoxx 600 index fell 2.08% to 362.91 points, the UK FTSE 100 index fell 1.73% to 5,832.52 points, the German DAX 30 index fell 2.49% to 12,703.75 points, and the French CAC 40 index fell 2.11%, reported 4837.42 points.
The French government declared a state of public health emergency on the 13th. French President Macron announced that a curfew will be imposed on nine major cities, such as Paris, from Saturday, lasting from 9 pm to 6 am, to prevent the surge in cases from overwhelming hospitals.
The curfew may last for six weeks and applies to the Paris region, including Paris, as well as the cities of Grenoble, Lille, Lyon, and Marseille. The French Interior Minister stated that 12,000 police officers will be responsible for implementing the curfew policy from Saturday.
According to data released by the Robert Koch Institute of the Federal Agency for Disease Control in Germany on Thursday, Germany added 6,638 new cases that day, a record high in a single day. German Chancellor Angela Merkel and state governors in Berlin on Wednesday announced that they will further tighten the epidemic prevention measures.
In the future, as long as the average number of new additions per 100,000 people in a region exceeds 50 per 100,000 people in seven days, a curfew must be adopted, the scope of application of the mask mandatory order and measures such as limiting the scale of gathering activities.
In order to prevent the rapid spread of the virus, the British government decided on Thursday to list London as a secondary high-risk area from the 17th. It is recommended to avoid public transportation and reduce the number of trips where possible. In addition, the epidemic restriction in the northern Greater Manchester area may also be raised to level 3.
On the 15th, the Italian Institute of Advanced Health issued a weekly epidemic monitoring report that the Italian epidemic is accelerating its spread and has entered a stage of rapid deterioration.
With the increasing number of infection cases, medical resources are showing signs of strain. In the next month, intensive care and general beds in some areas may reach saturation.
Other Markets: Crude Oil Fell Slightly, Gold Rose Slightly
Affected by the worsening of the epidemic, international oil prices plunged nearly 4% in intraday trading, and the decline in late trading was significantly narrowed. The recent WTI crude oil contract fell 0.2% to $40.96 per barrel, and the Brent crude oil contract fell 0.6%, $43.06/barrel.
OPEC Secretary-General Mohammed Barkindo said on Thursday that OPEC is optimistic that crude oil demand will increase by 6-7 million barrels per day in 2021, and hopes that the world will not return to the deepest lockdown. Oil demand will take a long time to recover, and OPEC will ensure that the market will not get into trouble again.
The COMEX gold contract rose $1.60, or 0.08%, to close at $1,908.90 per ounce. At the EU summit, EU leaders agreed to extend trade negotiations with the UK for several weeks.