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London midday: Stocks tank amid lockdown fears

By Michele Maatouk

Date: Monday 21 Sep 2020

London midday: Stocks tank amid lockdown fears

(Sharecast News) - London equity markets had tanked by midday on Monday, with travel, hospitality and leisure stocks all under the cosh as investors mulled the prospect of tougher lockdown restrictions.
The FTSE 100 was down 3.3% at 5,806.46, extending earlier losses as England's chief medical officer Chris Whitty and chief scientific adviser Sir Patrick Vallance addressed the nation on the latest coronavirus data.

Witty said the trend in the UK is heading in the wrong direction as cases continue to rise and warned that if things keep going as they are, there could be 200 deaths per day by mid-November.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson will reportedly address the nation later in the week over winter lockdown plans. Measures being considered are said to include curfews for pubs and restaurants and banning households from meeting up.

Richard Hunter, head of markets at Interactive Investor, said: "With no confirmed vaccine for the coronavirus as autumn approaches, there is likely to be additional strain on government resources as they attempt to stave off a second wave, as the colder weather inevitably brings further cases to contend with.

"Prospects for a sharp economic recovery have all but disappeared, as global growth receives the new threat of a resurgent pandemic. In addition, with talks for a further fiscal stimulus in the US seemingly in deadlock, investors have been choosing to vote with their feet over recent trading sessions given the deteriorating outlook."

In equity markets, travel stocks took a beating amid worries about Covid restrictions, with British Airways and Iberia parent IAG the worst performer on the FTSE 100.

InterContinental Hotels, Premier Inn owner Whitbread, cinema chain Cineworld, pub groups Wetherspoons and Mitchells & Butlers, budget airline easyJet and cruise operator Carnival were also firmly in the red.

Rolls-Royce was sharply lower after the engine maker confirmed it is considering a potential £2.5bn fundraising. Responding to media speculation over the weekend, the company said it was reviewing "all funding options" with the intention of strengthening its balance sheet.

HSBC was under pressure following reports over the weekend that it was allowing money from a Ponzi scheme to be transferred around the world, according to leaked documents from the US Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN). Standard Chartered and Barclays were also implicated.

Neil Wilson, chief market analyst at Markets.com, said: "Whilst it is unclear to extent there will be a material impact on the banks in question, and whether the transactions are covered by existing DoJ deals and fines, it raises litigation and regulatory risk and we cannot rule out fines and charges being levied by various actors.

"Either way, the stench of corruption and money laundering will linger over the largest banks for a long time. There were even reports HSBC may be added to China's unreliable entity list."

On the upside, Just Eat was the standout gainer amid expectations that demand for the online food order and delivery service will increase amid tighter restrictions.

Market Movers

FTSE 100 (UKX) 5,806.46 -3.34%
FTSE 250 (MCX) 16,884.47 -3.90%
techMARK (TASX) 3,737.27 -3.03%

FTSE 100 - Risers

Just Eat Takeaway.Com N.V. (CDI) (JET) 8,594.00p 1.97%
Tesco (TSCO) 221.20p 0.73%
B&M European Value Retail S.A. (DI) (BME) 456.60p 0.18%
Morrison (Wm) Supermarkets (MRW) 173.85p -0.23%
Spirax-Sarco Engineering (SPX) 10,640.00p -0.42%
Fresnillo (FRES) 1,333.50p -0.71%
Sainsbury (J) (SBRY) 193.55p -0.74%
Ocado Group (OCDO) 2,796.00p -0.75%
Reckitt Benckiser Group (RB.) 7,364.00p -0.89%
Halma (HLMA) 2,251.00p -1.23%

FTSE 100 - Fallers

International Consolidated Airlines Group SA (CDI) (IAG) 96.70p -12.53%
Melrose Industries (MRO) 110.00p -8.33%
Rolls-Royce Holdings (RR.) 166.25p -7.72%
Barclays (BARC) 89.97p -7.65%
Barratt Developments (BDEV) 439.80p -7.20%
M&G (MNG) 147.10p -7.02%
Persimmon (PSN) 2,322.00p -6.97%
Taylor Wimpey (TW.) 98.72p -6.25%
Intermediate Capital Group (ICP) 1,174.00p -6.23%
Prudential (PRU) 1,098.00p -6.15%

FTSE 250 - Risers

Just Eat Takeaway.Com N.V. (CDI) (JET) 8,594.00p 1.97%
Plus500 Ltd (DI) (PLUS) 1,549.50p 1.71%
Pollen Street Secured Lending (PSSL) 840.00p 0.24%
Oxford Biomedica (OXB) 842.00p 0.12%
Apax Global Alpha Limited (APAX) 156.00p 0.00%
Personal Assets Trust (PNL) 45,000.00p 0.00%
Avon Rubber (AVON) 4,170.00p 0.00%
Royal Mail (RMG) 236.60p -0.04%
BBGI SICAV S.A. (DI) (BBGI) 170.80p -0.12%
UK Commercial Property Reit Limited (UKCM) 65.10p -0.15%

FTSE 250 - Fallers

Virgin Money UK (VMUK) 72.80p -14.65%
Mitchells & Butlers (MAB) 120.00p -14.65%
Network International Holdings (NETW) 229.00p -13.65%
FirstGroup (FGP) 37.26p -12.74%
National Express Group (NEX) 113.60p -12.28%
Paragon Banking Group (PAG) 313.60p -12.16%
Trainline (TRN) 342.60p -12.15%
Crest Nicholson Holdings (CRST) 169.10p -11.00%
WH Smith (SMWH) 978.50p -10.39%
Greencore Group (GNC) 99.05p -9.95%

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