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London open: Stocks fall on Covid, US stimulus concerns

By Michele Maatouk

Date: Monday 26 Oct 2020

London open: Stocks fall on Covid, US stimulus concerns

(Sharecast News) - London stocks fell in early trade on Monday amid doubts over US stimulus and growing concerns about the Covid-19 pandemic and increasing restrictions.
At 0900 GMT, the FTSE 100 was down 0.5% at 5,831.98.

Spreadex analyst Connor Campbell said: "At the start of the final week of October, and the last week before the US election, the markets couldn't shake their Covid-19 blues.

"Restrictions are continuing to tighten around the world, especially in Europe, where Spain just entered a state of emergency, and Italy has introduced its most severe measures since the end of its national lockdown in May. And the pace of the virus is showing no signs of slowing down, with a new record number of daily cases in the US, and confirmation of 137 local cases in China.

"Monday's lack of optimism extends to the US stimulus talks, with an agreement still not in place and the Republicans and Democrats both pointing fingers. Time is fast running out, if it hasn't already - why would either side want to get a deal done, especially blue wave-praying Democrats, when the country's political landscape could've completely shifted in a week and a half's time?

"On a less familiar note, a 'permanent' ceasefire between warring factions in Libya has sent oil lower, after speculation that production of the black stuff will start to ramp up in the country once more."

In currency markets, the pound was down 0.1% against the dollar at 1.3024 as Brexit talks enter the final phase this week. News that the EU's chief negotiator, Michel Barnier, will stay on in London until Wednesday has sparked hopes of a deal.

In equity markets, stocks with exposure to the coronavirus pandemic and restrictions took a hit, with engine maker Rolls-Royce, GKN owner Melrose, British Airways parent IAG, InterContinental Hotels, Premier Inn owner Whitbread, TUI, Carnival and WH Smith all under the cosh.

Elsewhere, oil giants Shell and BP were both lower as oil prices fell.

Insurer Beazley was weaker after a downgrade to 'equalweight' from 'overweight' at Morgan Stanley.

On the upside, AstraZeneca was a little higher as it emerged that its Covid-19 vaccine had produced a robust immune response in the elderly.

Synthomer was also in the black after an upgrade to 'overweight' from 'neutral' at JPMorgan.

Market Movers

FTSE 100 (UKX) 5,831.98 -0.48%
FTSE 250 (MCX) 17,985.01 -0.69%
techMARK (TASX) 3,762.97 -0.60%

FTSE 100 - Risers

Pearson (PSON) 526.00p 2.65%
BT Group (BT.A) 106.10p 1.48%
Lloyds Banking Group (LLOY) 29.66p 1.26%
NATWEST GROUP PLC ORD 100P (NWG) 124.25p 1.18%
Hikma Pharmaceuticals (HIK) 2,574.00p 0.98%
HSBC Holdings (HSBA) 324.20p 0.87%
British American Tobacco (BATS) 2,593.50p 0.84%
Barclays (BARC) 112.26p 0.65%
AstraZeneca (AZN) 7,975.00p 0.40%
London Stock Exchange Group (LSE) 8,466.00p 0.33%

FTSE 100 - Fallers

Rolls-Royce Holdings (RR.) 235.10p -3.53%
Sage Group (SGE) 676.80p -2.48%
InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) 4,101.00p -2.38%
International Consolidated Airlines Group SA (CDI) (IAG) 106.55p -2.25%
Royal Dutch Shell 'A' (RDSA) 951.70p -2.07%
Royal Dutch Shell 'B' (RDSB) 921.80p -2.00%
Kingfisher (KGF) 313.90p -1.94%
Burberry Group (BRBY) 1,459.50p -1.92%
Whitbread (WTB) 2,342.00p -1.84%
Anglo American (AAL) 1,949.80p -1.74%

FTSE 250 - Risers

AO World (AO.) 377.50p 3.99%
Synthomer (SYNT) 399.40p 2.83%
Oxford Biomedica (OXB) 837.00p 2.20%
Aston Martin Lagonda Global Holdings (AML) 50.90p 1.80%
Shaftesbury (SHB) 462.60p 1.72%
Vectura Group (VEC) 106.00p 1.34%
Moneysupermarket.com Group (MONY) 257.60p 1.34%
Indivior (INDV) 103.20p 0.98%
Frasers Group (FRAS) 378.40p 0.91%
Civitas Social Housing (CSH) 106.80p 0.75%

FTSE 250 - Fallers

Beazley (BEZ) 307.80p -5.81%
TUI AG Reg Shs (DI) (TUI) 304.60p -5.67%
FirstGroup (FGP) 48.88p -5.36%
Capita (CPI) 24.15p -2.82%
Carnival (CCL) 999.20p -2.75%
Wood Group (John) (WG.) 219.20p -2.36%
Cineworld Group (CINE) 28.50p -2.33%
Petrofac Ltd. (PFC) 118.50p -2.27%
Playtech (PTEC) 358.00p -2.27%
Computacenter (CCC) 2,354.00p -2.24%

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