London close: Stocks finish weaker as travel plays take hit
London stocks closed in negative territory on Monday, with travel and leisure stocks under the cosh as the prospect of tighter border restrictions and a prolonged lockdown weighed on sentiment.
The FTSE 100 ended the session down 0.84% at 6,638.85, and the FTSE 250 was 1.2% weaker at 20,350.41.
Sterling was in a mixed state, last trading 0.12% weaker against the dollar at $1.3670, and strengthening 0.09% on the euro at €1.1257.
"Stock markets had a lacklustre start to the session but the selling pressure picked up throughout the day,” said CMC Markets analyst David Madden.
“Concerns that additional and stricter restrictions will prolong the economic rebound in the wake of the pandemic are weighing on market confidence.
“It is believed that Britain will tighten rules in relation to people flying into the country.”
Madden noted that France already had a countrywide curfew in place, with growing talk there that a third national lockdown would be introduced.
“The latest services data from France underlined the impact of the existing measures, so another lockdown would add to the economic suffering.
“The EU’s distribution of the coronavirus vaccine has been slow, so that is also playing on dealers’ minds as it doesn’t seem that restrictions will be lifted anytime soon.
“The UK’s rolling out of the vaccine has been quick when compared with its continental neighbours, hence why the FTSE 100 and the FTSE 250 haven’t fallen as much as eurozone indices.”
In equity markets, travel and leisure issues bore the brunt of the selling, with British Airways owner IAG down 7.65%, engine maker Rolls-Royce off 4.81%, GKN owner Melrose 5.34% weaker, and Premier Inn owner Whitbread losing 1.65%.
InterContinental Hotels lost 3.9%, budget airlines easyJet and Wizz descended 6.66% and 4.35% respectively, travel company TUI was off 1.05%, and WH Smith was down 7.65%.
Upper Crust Owner SPP slid 8.02and cruise operator Carnival sank 6.51%.
On the upside, Cineworld recouped its earlier losses to close 4.39% higher by the end of trading.
Outside the FTSE 350, Asos rallied 5.6% after confirming it is in exclusive talks to acquire Topshop and a number of other Arcadia-owned brands out of administration.
Boohoo also gained, rising 4.69% after the fast-fashion retailer said it will buy the brand and website of failed department store chain Debenhams in a £55m deal.
FTSE 100 - Risers
Reckitt Benckiser Group (RB.) 6,554.00p 4.46%
Ocado Group (OCDO) 2,754.00p 2.38%
Severn Trent (SVT) 2,391.00p 2.18%
United Utilities Group (UU.) 952.60p 2.12%
Scottish Mortgage Inv Trust (SMT) 1,306.00p 2.11%
Pennon Group (PNN) 978.60p 2.11%
Unilever (ULVR) 4,465.00p 1.99%
Bunzl (BNZL) 2,454.00p 1.91%
GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) 1,405.00p 1.80%
AstraZeneca (AZN) 7,897.00p 1.54%
FTSE 100 - Fallers
International Consolidated Airlines Group SA (CDI) (IAG) 140.00p -7.65%
Melrose Industries (MRO) 165.70p -5.56%
Compass Group (CPG) 1,321.50p -5.23%
Rolls-Royce Holdings (RR.) 98.00p -4.81%
Informa (INF) 492.80p -4.46%
Anglo American (AAL) 2,514.50p -4.28%
Barclays (BARC) 137.12p -4.15%
Burberry Group (BRBY) 1,687.00p -4.12%
Glencore (GLEN) 259.75p -4.08%
InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) 4,555.00p -3.90%
FTSE 250 - Risers
Cineworld Group (CINE) 69.00p 4.39%
Sirius Real Estate Ltd. (SRE) 90.00p 4.05%
Petrofac Ltd. (PFC) 107.00p 3.83%
Oxford Biomedica (OXB) 977.00p 2.94%
PZ Cussons (PZC) 237.50p 2.81%
JTC (JTC) 592.00p 2.78%
Domino's Pizza Group (DOM) 345.40p 2.25%
Ninety One (N91) 234.00p 2.18%
Helios Towers (HTWS) 156.60p 2.09%
Sanne Group (SNN) 553.00p 2.02%
FTSE 250 - Fallers
SSP Group (SSPG) 307.40p -8.02%
Energean (ENOG) 817.00p -7.96%
WH Smith (SMWH) 1,593.00p -7.65%
ITV (ITV) 99.24p -6.72%
easyJet (EZJ) 725.40p -6.66%
Carnival (CCL) 1,185.00p -6.51%
Wood Group (John) (WG.) 278.00p -5.70%
Aggreko (AGK) 589.50p -5.45%
Meggitt (MGGT) 395.90p -5.22%
Beazley (BEZ) 327.00p -5.16%