European shares falter as coronavirus toll in China jumps

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(Reuters) – European shares pulled back from record highs on Thursday as a surge in new coronavirus cases in China surprised investors who were hoping that the outbreak had peaked.

The pan-European STOXX 600 index () fell 0.4% by 0803 GMT. The index had notched new highs in the last two sessions on optimism over what appeared to be a decline in new cases of infection in China.

But a jump in new cases after China deployed a new diagnostic method and a record rise in the death toll swiftly subdued risk appetite.

European sectors with heavy exposure to China, such as basic resources () and automobile stocks () fell 0.9% and 1.1%, respectively.

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