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Feb. 20, 2020, 6:36 a.m. EST

European stocks weaken on new coronavirus concerns

Air France-KLM, Telefónica and AXA shares fall

By Steve Goldstein, MarketWatch

Associated Press
Workers wearing protective gears spray disinfectant against the new coronavirus disease in front of a church in Daegu, South Korea, Feb. 20, 2020.

European stocks took a step back on Thursday, with the impact of the coronavirus outbreak again proving a headwind.

The Stoxx Europe 600 index (STOXX:XX:SXXP) slipped 0.3% as China for a second time revised how it counts daily infections, while South Korea told 2.5 million people to stay home after reporting its first death.

Air France-KLM (MIL:IT:AF)  shares dropped 4.6% as the airline said the virus impact will cost the airline from 150 million to 200 million euros through April.

Telefónica (MCE:ES:TEF)  shares dropped 3.8% as the Spanish telecom giant swung to a loss after pulling out of some Latin American markets and selling 10 data centers.

AXA (PAR:FR:CS)   shares fell 3.4% as the French insurer reported a profit below expectations on the costs of restructuring.

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