London midday: Stocks in the red amid Omicron concerns

By Michele Maatouk

Date: Tuesday 30 Nov 2021

London midday: Stocks in the red amid Omicron concerns

(Sharecast News) - London stocks were still firmly in the red by midday on Tuesday after the boss of Moderna cast doubt on the efficacy of vaccines on the Omicron Covid variant.
The FTSE 100 was down 1.1% at 7,035.00.

Sentiment took a hit after Moderna chief executive Stephane Bancel told the Financial Times that existing vaccines will struggle with the Omicron variant and warned that it could take months for pharmaceutical companies to make enough jabs at a sufficient scale to make a difference.

IG market analyst Chris Beauchamp said: "A much gloomier mood prevails across markets this morning, and for that we have the Moderna CEO to thank. Yesterday saw the doom-laden consensus of last Friday swapped out for a much more optimistic one, as hopes of a smaller than feared hit from the new variant lifted indices.

"Today has been a reaction to that reaction, with the cue being the CEO comments; stocks have come off across the board, with global growth names hardest hit. Friday's price action was likely a signal for at least a week of this kind of volatility, as markets scramble to price in the outlook using any data and news available. The dust will not settle for a while yet, and meanwhile the inflation drumbeat continues to sound, providing another reason to worry for beleaguered investors. With central banks having done their utmost in the previous part of this crisis, there is fear that they will be less able to act this time, and indeed may still continue on a tightening path."

In equity markets, oil giants BP and Shell both gushed lower as oil prices slid.

Property group Shaftesbury fell despite restoring its progressive dividend policy and reporting improving trends and a narrower annual loss, while Countryside Properties slumped after it revised down its targets for FY22.

Micro Focus slumped after saying it was targeting up to $500m of cost cuts and at least flat revenue by the end of 2023 as the company seeks to turn its business round.

Budget airline easyJet reversed earlier gains to trade lower as it reported a better-than-expected annual loss and said it expected capacity to return to pre-pandemic levels by the end of the current fiscal year.

The company posted a headline pre-tax loss of £1.13bn, compared with an £835m loss a year earlier and guidance of £1.14bn - 1.18bn. It also noted an increase in transfers and softer trading in the current quarter due to the outbreak of the new Omicron Covid variant.

On the upside, media group Future surged after saying it now anticipates adjusted results for FY22 to be "materially above" current expectations.

Market Movers

FTSE 100 (UKX) 7,035.00 -1.05%
FTSE 250 (MCX) 22,515.27 -1.06%
techMARK (TASX) 4,335.91 -1.14%

FTSE 100 - Risers

Polymetal International (POLY) 1,369.50p 2.09%
Evraz (EVR) 580.00p 1.40%
Aviva (AV.) 382.40p 1.11%
Anglo American (AAL) 2,705.50p 0.82%
Fresnillo (FRES) 918.60p 0.46%
Darktrace (DARK) 463.60p 0.35%
Auto Trader Group (AUTO) 734.00p 0.22%
Standard Chartered (STAN) 414.90p 0.17%
Rightmove (RMV) 741.20p 0.16%
BHP Group (BHP) 2,021.50p 0.12%

FTSE 100 - Fallers

Sainsbury (J) (SBRY) 278.30p -3.94%
Flutter Entertainment (CDI) (FLTR) 9,958.00p -3.55%
Pershing Square Holdings Ltd NPV (PSH) 2,905.00p -3.33%
Melrose Industries (MRO) 141.20p -3.32%
British Land Company (BLND) 504.80p -3.18%
Intermediate Capital Group (ICP) 2,082.00p -3.16%
Land Securities Group (LAND) 727.40p -3.14%
JD Sports Fashion (JD.) 221.90p -2.80%
Schroders (SDR) 3,423.00p -2.67%
London Stock Exchange Group (LSEG) 6,690.00p -2.62%

FTSE 250 - Risers

Future (FUTR) 3,686.00p 15.48%
Pets at Home Group (PETS) 477.60p 2.62%
XP Power Ltd. (DI) (XPP) 4,910.00p 1.55%
Hill & Smith Holdings (HILS) 1,688.00p 1.32%
Centamin (DI) (CEY) 95.48p 1.04%
Discoverie Group (DSCV) 986.00p 0.92%
Ninety One (N91) 251.60p 0.80%
Computacenter (CCC) 2,822.00p 0.71%
Big Yellow Group (BYG) 1,630.00p 0.62%
TUI AG Reg Shs (DI) (TUI) 201.60p 0.60%

FTSE 250 - Fallers

Micro Focus International (MCRO) 348.50p -7.41%
AO World (AO.) 98.00p -6.58%
Man Group (EMG) 213.60p -6.11%
Harbour Energy (HBR) 383.60p -5.70%
Countryside Properties (CSP) 416.00p -5.41%
FirstGroup (FGP) 94.15p -4.37%
Auction Technology Group (ATG) 1,232.00p -4.05%
Shaftesbury (SHB) 615.00p -3.91%
WH Smith (SMWH) 1,329.50p -3.90%
Bridgepoint Group (Reg S) (BPT) 506.00p -3.62%


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