Technology Sector Leads European Stock Sell Off

European stocks fell sharply on Monday as global markets went into retreat.

The pan-European Stoxx 600 index fell 1.2%, with technology stocks declining 2.3% to lead losses. One lone bright spot in Europe was found in travel and leisure stocks, which rose 0.6% Monday.

European stocks followed declines in the U.S. and Asia at the end of last week. U.S. stock futures dropped more than 150 points on Monday, after the S&P 500 and the NASDAQ Composite snapped a two-week winning streak with a weekly loss of 0.7% and 1.6%, respectively.

Some equity investors have grown concerned about rapidly rising bond yields in recent weeks as they could hurt high-growth companies reliant on easy borrowing and diminish the appeal of stocks. Rising bond yields reflect market confidence that an economic recovery is near, following the coronavirus pandemic.

The 10-year U.S. Treasury yield jumped 14 basis points last week to 1.34%, near its highest level since February 2020. So far this month, the benchmark rate has moved up 25 basis points.

Stocks in Asia-Pacific were mixed on Monday as China left its benchmark lending rate unchanged over the weekend.

Developments surrounding the pandemic and vaccine rollout remain in focus. The United Kingdom is set to detail how it plans to lift lockdown measures gradually in the coming months, as its vaccination rollout maintains a positive pace.

Meanwhile, the White House said Sunday that it expects to ship out millions of delayed COVID-19 vaccine doses this week after a sweeping winter storm disrupted logistics. On the data front, Germany’s IFO Institute releases its February survey on the business climate in the country.

In terms of individual share price movement, French real estate investment trust Icade climbed 4.5% to lead the Stoxx 600 in trading after releasing its full-year earnings report. At the bottom of the index, G4S shares fell more than 9% after Canada’s GardaWorld said it would not raise its takeover bid for the British security firm.