FTSE 100 movers: Banks under the cosh; Melrose rallies
London's FTSE 100 was down 0.5% at 6,398.46 in afternoon trade on Wednesday.
Lloyds and Barclays were both on the back foot as banking stocks fell.
IG analyst Joshua Mahony said: "That decline comes off the back of a particularly fruitful period for the banks, with vaccine announcements from Pfizer, Moderna and AstraZeneca helping to lessen the risk of an even more drawn out economic collapse.
"Fears that a wave of bankruptcies would cripple the banks has failed to arrive thus far, with Rishi Sunak’s spending spree helping to stave off many of the worst economic outcomes from such a period of economic contraction. However, while the economic picture doesn’t look too bad for now, there is a risk that banks will suffer in the event we do see a sharp rise in job losses come March."
Engine maker Rolls-Royce was also lower following recent gains on the back of vaccine optimism and news of a shorter quarantine for travellers to England.
Going the other way, GKN owner Melrose rallied after saying it was trading at the top of board expectations, although it also struck a cautious note about the outlook. Aerospace sales fell 37% in the four months to the end of October but the automotive and metallurgy business picked up with an improving trend. Nortek Air Management revenue rose 13%.
FTSE 100 - Risers
Melrose Industries (MRO) 170.20p 4.32%
Unilever (ULVR) 4,514.00p 4.01%
Avast (AVST) 499.00p 3.96%
GVC Holdings (GVC) 1,031.50p 3.46%
United Utilities Group (UU.) 925.80p 3.30%
Fresnillo (FRES) 1,082.50p 3.29%
Flutter Entertainment (FLTR) 13,335.00p 3.05%
Homeserve (HSV) 1,072.00p 2.39%
Johnson Matthey (JMAT) 2,301.00p 1.77%
London Stock Exchange Group (LSE) 7,750.00p 1.76%
FTSE 100 - Fallers
Lloyds Banking Group (LLOY) 37.87p -4.14%
Barclays (BARC) 144.06p -4.09%
Legal & General Group (LGEN) 260.90p -4.05%
Rolls-Royce Holdings (RR.) 111.35p -3.80%
Land Securities Group (LAND) 690.90p -3.36%
Next (NXT) 6,602.00p -3.03%
Rio Tinto (RIO) 4,902.50p -2.98%
M&G (MNG) 195.25p -2.81%
Prudential (PRU) 1,225.00p -2.55%
Hargreaves Lansdown (HL.) 1,462.00p -2.53%