London open: Stocks fall amid tightening Covid-19 restrictions

Thu 15 Oct 2020

LONDON (SHARECAST) - (Sharecast News) - London stocks fell in early trade on Thursday amid tightening coronavirus restrictions across Europe and as hopes of further US stimulus faded.
At 0835 BST, the FTSE 100 was down 1.6% at 5,841.82.

Spreadex analyst Connor Campbell said: "A series of tougher Covid-19 restrictions across Europe sent the markets spiralling on Thursday, one of investors' regular reminders that, however much they try and deny it, the pandemic is still very much a thing.

"The headline announcement was the imposition of a 9pm to 6am curfew in Paris, and 8 other French cities, that will be in place for at least six weeks. In Germany - which just saw its own record daily case increase - the new restrictions were less severe, but still include limits on the number of people at private gatherings, and curfews on bars and restaurants in the worst hit areas.

"And the tightening continued, with bar and restaurant closures in the north-eastern region of Catalonia in Spain, new mask restrictions in the Netherlands, and the shuttering of non-essential retailers, gyms and leisure centres in Ireland.

"It was a sharp and loud wake-up call, the kind the market often seems to sleep through, but one that was hard to ignore this Thursday."

Meanwhile, press reports suggested that London was on the brink of tier 2 restrictions, which would mean that the mixing of households indoors and at pubs and restaurants would be banned.

Away from the pandemic, market participants were growing increasingly doubtful over the prospect of further US stimulus after Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said a pre-election package was unlikely.

In equity markets, stocks related to the travel, hospitality and leisure sectors all took a hit as investors fretted about the impact of further restrictions. Premier Inn owner Whitbread, InterContinental Hotels, cruise operator Carnival and WH Smith were all under the cosh.

Outside the FTSE 350, pub and hotel chain Marston's was trading lower after saying it will cut more than 2,000 jobs due to the impact of the pandemic and ensuing restrictions.

Packaging group Mondi was on the back foot after it reported a drop in third-quarter profit as lower average selling prices and negative currency effects more than offset lower costs.

Airlines were under the cosh after Ryanair said it was cutting planned winter capacity by a third due to the latest round of travel restrictions across Europe. Ryanair, easyJet, British Airways parent IAG and Wizz Air were all in the red.

Domino's Pizza was weaker even as it said it expects full-year profit to be in line with market consensus despite the uncertain backdrop and reported a rise in third-quarter sales and an "exceptional" digital performance.

On the upside, online electricals retailer AO World rallied after saying it expects half-year revenue to rise by more than half driven by strong performances in the UK and Germany.

Market Movers

FTSE 100 (UKX) 5,841.82 -1.57%
FTSE 250 (MCX) 17,734.09 -1.21%
techMARK (TASX) 3,775.22 -1.48%

FTSE 100 - Risers

HSBC Holdings (HSBA) 296.95p 0.12%
Just Eat Takeaway.Com N.V. (CDI) (JET) 9,412.00p 0.09%
Ocado Group (OCDO) 2,416.00p -0.17%
United Utilities Group (UU.) 882.60p -0.41%
Standard Chartered (STAN) 353.10p -0.48%
Polymetal International (POLY) 1,760.50p -0.54%
Severn Trent (SVT) 2,493.00p -0.60%
Hikma Pharmaceuticals (HIK) 2,663.00p -0.63%
Fresnillo (FRES) 1,348.50p -0.66%
WPP (WPP) 649.40p -0.67%

FTSE 100 - Fallers

Whitbread (WTB) 2,112.00p -5.92%
International Consolidated Airlines Group SA (CDI) (IAG) 93.56p -4.78%
InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) 4,078.00p -3.57%
Pearson (PSON) 545.00p -3.47%
Compass Group (CPG) 1,146.50p -3.45%
Melrose Industries (MRO) 123.35p -2.91%
GVC Holdings (GVC) 1,039.00p -2.90%
Smith (DS) (SMDS) 303.50p -2.72%
Ashtead Group (AHT) 2,868.00p -2.61%
Taylor Wimpey (TW.) 116.45p -2.59%

FTSE 250 - Risers

AO World (AO.) 245.50p 6.05%
SDL (SDL) 774.00p 3.75%
St. Modwen Properties (SMP) 333.00p 0.91%
BMO Commercial Property Trust Limited (BCPT) 63.70p 0.47%
Greencoat UK Wind (UKW) 134.80p 0.45%
Serco Group (SRP) 120.40p 0.42%
HICL Infrastructure (HICL) 170.40p 0.24%
G4S (GFS) 209.30p 0.14%
BlackRock World Mining Trust (BRWM) 419.00p 0.12%
Just Eat Takeaway.Com N.V. (CDI) (JET) 9,412.00p 0.09%

FTSE 250 - Fallers

easyJet (EZJ) 461.00p -7.21%
Close Brothers Group (CBG) 1,015.00p -5.84%
Perpetual Income & Growth Inv Trust (PLI) 224.00p -5.49%
Domino's Pizza Group (DOM) 351.80p -5.43%
PureTech Health (PRTC) 239.00p -4.40%
Carnival (CCL) 888.00p -4.21%
WH Smith (SMWH) 951.50p -3.89%
Micro Focus International (MCRO) 247.50p -3.73%
Indivior (INDV) 102.00p -3.59%
TUI AG Reg Shs (DI) (TUI) 269.00p -3.58%
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