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MILAN/FRANKFURT: European stocks fell on Thursday as investors feared another round of shutdowns due to soaring coronavirus cases globally, with growth-linked cyclical stocks leading losses across regional markets. The pan-European STOXX 600 closed 0.8% lower, easing from an eight-month high hit earlier this week.

Miners, travel, oil and gas and banking sectors that have rallied strongly in November on positive Covid-19 vaccine data, shed almost 2%. Media stocks rose, while utilities and tech firms posted minor losses. Among individual stocks, ailing German conglomerate Thyssenkrupp fell 3.4% after it said it would need to cut a further 5,000 jobs to ease the impact of the coronavirus crisis on its businesses.

Norwegian Air slumped 15.7% after it filed for bankruptcy protection as it seeks to stave off collapse amid the pandemic. Germany's HelloFresh jumped 6.6% after its CEO said the meal-kit delivery firm would expand its capacity to supply US diners by 50% by mid-2021. Debt-laden Spanish media firm PRISA surged 21.0% after it said it had received an offer for El Pais daily and its other media assets from Spanish businessman Blas Herrero.