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European shares fall as fears of new virus wave grip investors

European shares fell today 22/6/2020 as signs of a resurgence in coronavirus cases in Germany and elsewhere unnerved investors who were hoping for a swift economic recovery from the crisis.

The pan-European STOXX 600 index slid 1% by 0710 GMT, with travel and leisure, oil and gas, and bank stocks leading losses.

The World Health Organization reported a record increase in global coronavirus cases on Sunday, while Germany’s COVID-19 reproduction rate jumped to 2.88, a rate showing infections are rising above the level needed to contain the disease over the longer term.

Scandal-hit Wirecard, which lost 72% in market valuate over the past week, fell another 43.9% as it said a quarter of its assets totalling 1.9 billion euros ($2.13 billion) that auditor EY had been unable to account for likely did not exist and withdrew its earnings forecast.

Lufthansa dropped 6.7% amid a showdown between the airline’s biggest shareholder and the German government over the terms of a 9-billion-euro bailout.