- Market frets on a possible return to nationwide lockdowns amid new COVID-19 infections.
- British Airways and a host of travel sector stocks among top losers
- Ocado Group and Reckitt Benckiser in the top gainers’ list
The FTSE 100 has slipped 0.58% as of 15:41 GMT on Friday and is poised around 7217.56 after dipping 38 points on the day.
The index is seeing negative moves amid heightened concerns about new COVID-19 infections across Europe.
Already feeling the heat are travel stocks, with investors likely to seek refuge in less volatile assets as the stock market watches what country will follow Austria in rolling out a nationwide lockdown.
Germany has indicated there’s the possibility of taking a similar route, while other countries across Europe could be inclined to take measures if infections continue to surge.
British Airways among losers on FTSE 100
Lockdown concerns have dampened investor spirits even as markets weigh the potential for central banks to re-consider plans around quantitative easing as inflation data paints a bleak picture for short-term economic recovery.
As of writing, national carrier British Airways has seen fresh selling to pull nearly 6% and touch £145.24 lows before a slight upside. It currently changes hands near £148, but still more than 3% down.
There have been declines for Rolls Royce, with the aerospace firm’s shares slipping 4% to £136.43. Meanwhile, EasyJet, Wizz Air, and SSP have all been traded lower by more than 5%.
While further lockdowns could intensify investor anxiety, there is potential for some stocks to gain in the face of a spike in Covid infections. On the day, UK stocks Ocado Group and Reckitt Benckiser are up by 8% and 4% respectively, while Royal Mail has surged 5%. For Ocado, the upsurge could also be down to speculation around a potential buyout by M&S.
AstraZeneca, which had earlier dumped on missed earnings estimates, is up 1.22%.