Pharmaceuticals paced decliners on Monday as markets reacted poorly to the news of a $39bn cash and shares takeover offer for rare diseases specialist Alexion from the UK's AstraZeneca.
Some of the most cyclical areas of the stock market, such as Autos&Parts and Oil&Gas, were the worst hit at the end of the week as a raft of negative news headlines hit the wires, especially those around Brexit talks with the European Union.
Stocks came under pressure at the start of the week as the clock on Brexit talks continued to run down amid negative news-flow out of Brussels at the weekend regarding prospects for a deal.
Commodity and financial stocks were again at the top of the leaderboard in the middle of the week, helped by ongoing optimism around the macroeconomic outlook for 2021.
Financials paced gains in the first trading session of December with lenders' shares faring best as analysts weighed in with further positive views on the outlook for the sector.