European stocks closed lower Thursday as a rally prompted by positive vaccine news started to peter out amid renewed fears of shutdowns due to rising coronavirus cases.
The pan-European Stoxx 600 closed down by 0.7% provisionally, with travel and leisure stocks dropping 1.7% to lead losses as almost all sectors and major bourses slid into negative territory.
Results published Thursday on the coronavirus vaccine being developed by the University of Oxford and AstraZeneca indicated that it is safe and triggers a similar immune response among all adults. The study, published in The Lancet, failed to boost market sentiment.
Pfizer said Wednesday that final analysis had shown its vaccine was 95% effective and would be submitted to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for approval within days. This came as New York City announced that it was closing schools due to a rising positivity rate.
On Wall Street, the Dow Jones Industrial Average and S&P 500 indexes fell slightly on Thursday amid disappointing U.S. unemployment data and the rising cases. The Labor Department said that 742,000 Americans filed for unemployment benefits in the week of Nov. 14, topping a Dow Jones estimate of 710,000.