Sector movers: Travel shares offset weakness in commodity stocks
London listed stocks were mixed at the start of the week, as hopes for a reopening of the UK economy were offset by the drag from miners and weakness in the oil patch.
Boosting the former, the latest data available showed that the trend in the number of new Covid-19 cases in the UK had flattened.
Analysts at Pantheon Macroeconomics said the flattening was because the government had doubled daily testing as children returned to schools.
However, the test positivity rate among students remained "very low" and 36% of the population had now received at least one vaccine dose, the analysts added.
Over in the US meanwhile, more than 1.0m adults were now being vaccinated on a daily basis, while in Israel Covid-19 was increasingly in the rear-view mirror.
In Europe, several countries did temporarily suspend innoculations with AstraZeneca's Covid-19 vaccine in response to several cases of blood clotting.
While the European Medicines Agency was due to meet on Thursday to review the latest data, it issued a statement saying: "The number of thromboembolic events overall in vaccinated people seems not to be higher than that seen in the general population."
For the European Union, at the weekend, European Commissioner Thierry Breton said the bloc would still be able to hit its vaccination target for the first quarter thanks to ramped-up production at Pfizer.
To take note of in terms of risk appetite in markets, in the next to last week before the Easter break traders were also waiting for policy announcements from the Federal Reserve and Bank of England, on Wednesday (after the close of trading in London) and Thursday, respectively.
Going the other way, commodity-related issues came under selling pressure following the release of a barrage of key activity indicators in the People's Republic of China.
The data covering the month of February initially left some economists scratching their heads after Beijing modified the methodology used for the closely-followed figures.
In particular, figures for Chinese fixed asset investment year-to-date printed below forecasts, although industrial production and retail sales were better-than-expected.
Top performing sectors so far today
Travel & Leisure 9,637.14 +2.20%
Aerospace and Defence 3,729.78 +1.85%
Electricity 8,329.60 +1.40%
Tobacco 28,075.71 +1.23%
Leisure Goods 24,904.33 +1.11%
Bottom performing sectors so far today
Oil Equipment, Services & Distribution 5,529.64 -3.36%
Oil & Gas Producers 5,443.68 -2.11%
Mining 24,082.15 -1.69%
Industrial Engineering 15,323.64 -1.57%
Industrial Metals & Mining 5,864.76 -1.33%