Global markets were in turmoil as Covid cases in Europe and the US soared.
Wall Street followed the European indexes in the red as fears rose that rising infection rates will lead to tighter restrictions, more pressure on damaged economies and kill more companies.
The Dow Jones fell 2.3 percent, while the S&P 500 fell 1.9 percent and the tech-heavy Nasdaq was down 1.6 percent.
European continental exchanges were also closed lower, with Germany’s Dax falling 3.7 percent with a bruise after leaked comments from German Chancellor Angela Merkel showed she had warned colleagues that the ‘situation is threatening’ and that the country ‘ very, very difficult months ahead. .
Italy and Spain, worst hit by the first wave of the pandemic, introduced wide-ranging measures, including new curfews and, for Spain, the activation of emergency powers.
In London, the sell-off hammered travel and energy stocks, pushing the FTSE 100 down 1.2 percent, down 68.27 points, to 5,792.01, while the FTSE 250 fell 1.4 percent or 256.27 points to 17853.30 .
British Airways owner IAG (drop 7.6 percent, or 8.3 p. To 100.7 p), aircraft engine maintainer Rolls-Royce (drop 7.2 percent, or 17.6 p, to 226.1 p) and Premier Inn owner Whitbread (6 per cent drop, or 142p, to 2244p) were among the top bluechip fallers.
And on the FTSE250 Tui (by 8.9 percent or 28.7 pence to 294.2 pence), Carnival (by 10 percent, or 102.3 p, to 925.2 pence) and Cineworld (by 9.1 percent, or 2.64p, to 26.54p) collapsed as merchants charged the looming threat of greater restrictions both at home and made it less likely that people would travel abroad. This also caused oil prices to fall by 3 percent.
Brent crude oil traded at $ 40.50 a barrel last night – and the drop dragged BP down (2.7 percent, or 5.5 pence, to 200 pence), ahead of today’s and Shell’s results (2 , 6 percent, or 24.8 pence, to 915.8 pence).
While policymakers and the public are bracing for a long and troubled winter, a ray of hope came yesterday from drug giant Astrazeneca, which reported that its experimental Covid vaccine had made more progress.
An interim study found that the potential vaccine prompted the participants’ immune systems to react against the virus.
This was found in adults as well as the elderly – and it was reported that there were ‘low levels’ of side effects, or what the scientists called ‘side effects’.
The market applauded the news and sent Astrazeneca to the second-highest spot on the FTSE100 standings. It rose 1.7 percent or 134p to 8077p.
An upgrade to ‘buying’ from brokers from UBS sent education publisher Pearson to the top of the Footsie rankings. It was up 3 percent, or 15.2p, to 527.6p, as analysts said it could reap the benefits of the US higher education sector.
Wagamama owner The Restaurant Group and door-to-door lender Provident Financial were boosted by investments from hedge fund Coltrane Asset Management.
Coltrane increased its stake in the Provvy (+ 0.6 percent, or 1.4p, to 229.6p) from 5.8 percent to 6 percent, and announced a 3.8 percent stake in The Restaurant Group (+5 percent, or 2.2p, to 46p).
Student housing provider Unite Group and advertising giant WPP both started the week by announcing new agreements. Unite hired Richard Huntingford, the chairman of the Future media group, as chairman. Unite shares fell 1.9 percent, or 17 pence, to 869 pence, while Future’s fell 0.5 percent or 10 pence to 2015 p.
And WPP has bolstered its board with Chinese technology expert and Professor Dr. Ya-Qin Zhang, a former chairman of Microsoft China.
WPP fell 1 percent, or 6.8p, to 658.6p.
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