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FTSE 100 marks worst month in over a year on Omicron hit

Stock MarketsNov 30, 2021 17:47
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© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: A worker shelters from the rain under a Union Flag umbrella as he passes the London Stock Exchange in London, Britain, October 1, 2008. REUTERS/Toby Melville/File Photo

By Bansari Mayur Kamdar and Ambar Warrick

(Reuters) - Britain's blue-chip share index closed above session lows on Tuesday, but marked its worst monthly decline in more than a year as concerns over the Omicron coronavirus variant hammered economically sensitive sectors.

The FTSE 100 fell 0.7% after dropping as much as 1.7% through the day. It shed more than 2% in November.

Most sectors in the FTSE 100 retreated. But mining stocks staged a late recovery, helping the index pare some losses as they tracked a jump in iron ore prices. [IRONORE/]

Prime Minister Boris Johnson said another lockdown was unlikely in light of the new variant, but would keep everything under review.

The domestically focussed mid-cap index fell 1.0%.

Global stock markets slumped after comments from vaccine maker Moderna (NASDAQ:MRNA)'s head that existing COVID-19 vaccines were unlikely to be as effective against the Omicron variant as they have been against the Delta version.

Drugmaker AstraZeneca (NASDAQ:AZN), which also makes COVID-19 vaccines, fell 1.1%.

British airline easyJet (LON:EZJ) slid 1.2% after reporting some softening of trading in its first quarter on COVID-19 outbreaks and the discovery of the Omicron variant. Broader travel and leisure stocks also sank.

"It almost feels like minus 10% for travel stocks is the new black," said Max Kettner, multi-asset strategist at HSBC.

"Sentiment around reopening stocks has hit absolutely rock bottom now and it's not just been a function of last Friday, but it has been a function of two or three months already."

Meanwhile, data showed costs were rising at the fastest rate in over 20 years for firms in Britain's services sector, putting the Bank of England in a tough spot as they face rising inflation and economic risks at the same time.

The internationally focussed FTSE 100 has underperformed its domestic counterpart so far this year, gaining 8.3% compared with the 9.6% rise in the FTSE 250 index.

FTSE 100 marks worst month in over a year on Omicron hit
 

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Comments (6)
Peter kur
Peter kur Nov 30, 2021 17:53
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https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2021-11-30/oxford-sees-no-evidence-omicron-defeats-covid-vaccines-so-far
Phil Long
Phil Long Nov 30, 2021 16:07
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yes total SS of a month
Drake Richards
Drake Richards Nov 30, 2021 10:45
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OMICRON is an anagram of MORONIC.... someone is playing a little joke...
Steve Hackett
Steve Hackett Nov 30, 2021 10:05
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I hate covid
Martin Wall
Martin Wall Nov 30, 2021 10:05
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It's the governments response to it that's the problem
Puk Pups
Puk Pups Nov 30, 2021 9:01
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A broken record .... 2 years the same .. Terrify 😨 to dead
Frank loughran
Frank loughran Nov 30, 2021 8:56
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I can see a pattern developing here, the existing vaccines are loosing there potency after 3 months, so big pharma want to blame the ineffectiveness of the vaccines on the new variants.
Martin Wall
Martin Wall Nov 30, 2021 8:56
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they also want to sell brand new vaccines, more profit
 
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