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Lockdown fears, U.S. stimulus doubts hit European shares

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Oct 15 (Reuters) - European shares fell for a third straight session on Thursday as concerns about the economic damage from more coronavirus-induced lockdowns and fading hopes for U.S. fiscal stimulus before the presidential election dented demand for equities globally.

The pan-European STOXX 600 index was down 1.3% as France imposed curfews and other European nations said they were closing schools and cancelling surgeries to tackle the surge in COVID-19 infections ahead of the winter season.

Bourses in France, Italy, Spain and Germany fell between 1.3% and 1.6%.

In the UK, ex-dividend trading weighed on the blue-chip FTSE 100, while investors looked for signs of progress in a Brexit trade deal with the two-day European Union summit set to kick off later in the day.

Swiss drugmaker Roche shed 1.9% even as it posted record revenue in its diagnostics division that offset declining drug sales and kept it on track to meet its full-year 2020 targets. (Reporting by Sagarika Jaisinghani in Bengaluru; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu)