London close: Stocks finish weaker as Covid concern continues
London stocks finished weaker on Monday, amid doubts over US stimulus and ongoing concerns about the Covid-19 pandemic and increasing restrictions.
The FTSE 100 ended the session down 1.16% at 5,792.01, and the FTSE 250 was 1.42% weaker at 17,853.30.
Sterling was in a mixed state, last losing 0.16% against the dollar to $1.3018, but gaining 0.16% on the euro to €1.1015.
“Stock markets in Europe have been rocked by the jump in Covid-19 cases, and the stricter restrictions are a factor too,” said CMC Markets analyst David Madden.
“During the summer months, there was a sense of optimism in the markets as economies were being reopened and there was a view that governments had a handle on the crisis.
"Now there is a feeling that countries are struggling to contain the health emergency, and the announcement of curfews and localised lockdowns adds to the view that things are going to get worse before they get better.”
Madden noted that the Spanish government had taken the drastic step of declaring a state of emergency, which sent out a very negative signal.
“In London, mining, oil, house building, travel and transport stocks are all in the red.”
The bulk of the big British banks were also higher on Monday afternoon, Madden pointed out, following reports that the Bank of England was in consultation with banks about potentially allowing them to resume paying dividends.
“The speculation that the finance houses might return to making pay-outs has helped the sector, but the BoE might be getting ahead of itself because we have yet to see the full extent of the damage in terms of defaults on loans.
“On Friday, Barclays posted better-than-expected third quarter numbers and HSBC’s figures will be in focus tomorrow.”
In equity markets, stocks with exposure to the coronavirus pandemic and restrictions took a hit, with InterContinental Hotels down 4%, Premier Inn owner Whitbread off 5.95%, and engine maker Rolls-Royce losing 7.22%.
Travel company TUI was also weaker, by 8.89%, and Cineworld was under the cosh, falling 9.05%.
Oil giant Shell was also trading lower, falling 2.68% as oil prices fell, while software company Sage was under pressure by 6.22% after German peer SAP slashed its full-year revenue guidance.
Insurer Beazley lost 4.28% after a downgrade to ‘equal weight’ from ‘overweight’ at Morgan Stanley.
On the upside, AstraZeneca was 1.69% higher as it emerged that its Covid-19 vaccine had produced an immune response in the young and elderly.
Education publisher Pearson was boosted 2.97% by an upgrade to ‘buy’ from ‘neutral’ at UBS, while Synthomer was in the black by 2.17% after an upgrade to ‘overweight’ from ‘neutral’ at JPMorgan.
FTSE 100 - Risers
Pearson (PSON) 527.60p 2.97%
AstraZeneca (AZN) 8,077.00p 1.69%
BT Group (BT.A) 106.05p 1.43%
Avast (AVST) 501.50p 1.23%
Polymetal International (POLY) 1,774.00p 0.80%
Pennon Group (PNN) 1,031.00p 0.78%
SSE (SSE) 1,346.00p 0.67%
Smiths Group (SMIN) 1,430.00p 0.46%
Severn Trent (SVT) 2,538.00p 0.43%
Hikma Pharmaceuticals (HIK) 2,555.00p 0.24%
FTSE 100 - Fallers
International Consolidated Airlines Group SA (CDI) (IAG) 100.70p -7.61%
Rolls-Royce Holdings (RR.) 226.10p -7.22%
Sage Group (SGE) 650.80p -6.22%
Whitbread (WTB) 2,244.00p -5.95%
Burberry Group (BRBY) 1,415.50p -4.87%
Compass Group (CPG) 1,095.00p -4.78%
InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) 4,033.00p -4.00%
Melrose Industries (MRO) 127.55p -3.99%
Standard Life Aberdeen (SLA) 233.00p -3.92%
Kingfisher (KGF) 307.30p -3.66%
FTSE 250 - Risers
Frasers Group (FRAS) 391.80p 4.59%
Aston Martin Lagonda Global Holdings (AML) 52.15p 4.30%
Mitchells & Butlers (MAB) 164.40p 3.77%
Biffa (BIFF) 215.50p 3.61%
Domino's Pizza Group (DOM) 329.60p 3.58%
OneSavings Bank (OSB) 326.00p 2.90%
Indivior (INDV) 105.00p 2.74%
Wetherspoon (J.D.) (JDW) 944.50p 2.27%
Watches of Switzerland Group (WOSG) 417.00p 1.96%
Capita (CPI) 25.32p 1.89%
FTSE 250 - Fallers
Carnival (CCL) 925.20p -9.96%
Cineworld Group (CINE) 26.54p -9.05%
TUI AG Reg Shs (DI) (TUI) 294.20p -8.89%
Network International Holdings (NETW) 218.80p -8.83%
Kainos Group (KNOS) 1,270.00p -7.16%
FirstGroup (FGP) 48.34p -6.41%
Gamesys Group (GYS) 1,118.00p -6.06%
easyJet (EZJ) 517.60p -5.25%
Sanne Group (SNN) 617.00p -5.08%
Playtech (PTEC) 348.80p -4.78%