(Reuters) – European stocks were sluggish on Friday amid rising coronavirus cases across the continent, raising fears about the impact of the pandemic on the nascent economic recovery.
The pan-European STOXX 600 Index sank 0.04% to 11.22 GMT, with travel and leisure stocks shedding 2.3%.
Market sentiment remained shaky. France on Thursday recorded a record 10,593 new confirmed cases of coronavirus, the highest daily rate since the start of the pandemic, while the UK also saw a sharp rise in cases.
The wave of deals affected individual stocks. Spanish state bank Bankia fell 2% after Caixabank valued it at 4.3 billion euros ($ 5.10 billion) in a deal that will create Spain's largest domestic bank.
Euronext rose 3.6% after the London Stock Exchange announced it had entered into exclusive negotiations to sell Borsa Italian to a French exchange operator.
German Covestro rose 7% after Bloomberg reported that Apollo Global Management is looking into a takeover of the plastics maker.
(Shruti Shankar in Bangalore, translated by Elizaveta Zhuravleva. Editor Marina Bobrova)