European stocks near a record close as investors shrug off coronavirus fears

European stocks traded higher on Wednesday as traders monitored corporate earnings and the spread of the new coronavirus.

The pan-European Stoxx 600 inched higher by more than 0.5 percent by mid-afternoon to notch a fresh record high, with autos jumping 2.6 percent to lead gains while utilities bucked the upward trend to drop 0.3 percent.

China’s National Health Commission on Wednesday reported 2,015 new cases of coronavirus and 97 deaths across the mainland. The outbreak, which originated in the Chinese city of Wuhan and has killed 1,113 people in the country, has resulted in the shutting down of factories, businesses, and transportation in China.

Back in Europe, eurozone manufacturing output plummeted by more than expected in December, dropping 2.1% month-on-month against the expected 1.6 percent fall, Eurostat data showed.

Source: CNBC