European stocks drop, kick off May on dour note

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May 4 (Reuters) - European stocks tumbled on Monday as investors returned from a May Day break to a fresh spat between the United States and China over the coronavirus crisis that triggered losses in cyclical sectors.

The pan-European STOXX 600 fell 2.5% in a downbeat start to May after the index recorded a 6% gain in April.

Oil & gas, automakers, banking and technology indexes were the biggest drags on the index, falling between 3.6% and 5%.

Germany’s Thyssenkrupp slumped 13% after a report that the pandemic could cause a new financial squeeze despite the sale of its elevator business.

Adding to U.S. President Donald Trump’s threat last week to impose tariffs on China, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on Sunday there was “a significant amount of evidence” that the new coronavirus emerged from a Chinese laboratory.

Germany’s DAX fell 3.3%, with additional pressure from chipmaker Dialog Semiconductor after it withdrew 2020 outlook. France’s CAC 40 dropped 3.8%. (Reporting by Sruthi Shankar in Bengaluru; Editing by Anil D’Silva)