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FTSE 100 flat as PM Johnson prepares new COVID-19 measures

The FTSE 100 was flat on Monday as a dip in oil prices hit energy stocks, while investors remained cautious on growing fears of fresh restrictions to contain the growing coronavirus crisis. Prime Minister Boris Johnson is expected to impose a tiered system of additional restrictions on parts of England, which would include shutting bars, gyms, casinos and bookmakers in some areas placed into the "very high" alert level, British media reported.

Reuters | London | Updated: 12-10-2020 14:46 IST | Created: 12-10-2020 14:38 IST
FTSE 100 flat as PM Johnson prepares new COVID-19 measures
Representative image Image Credit: Flickr

The FTSE 100 was flat on Monday as a dip in oil prices hit energy stocks, while investors remained cautious on growing fears of fresh restrictions to contain the growing coronavirus crisis.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson is expected to impose a tiered system of additional restrictions on parts of England, which would include shutting bars, gyms, casinos and bookmakers in some areas placed into the "very high" alert level, British media reported. The blue-chip FTSE 100 recouped early losses but was flat at 0854 GMT as a jump in financial and mining stocks offset the decline in energy stocks .

The midcap FTSE 250 rose 0.6%, led by a jump in shares of corporate services firm Sanne Group Plc and precious metals miner Hochschild Mining after RBC upgraded its rating on their stock to "outperform". "Stock markets are in buy-the-dip mode as there's not really much driving sentiment at the moment," said Michael Hewson, chief market analyst at CMC Markets UK.

Hopes of further U.S. stimulus and optimism around a global economic recovery have boosted UK stock markets over the past two weeks, but analysts have warned trading could get more volatile in the run-up to the Nov. 3 presidential election. The Bank of England has also floated the idea of negative interest rates on concerns about the coronavirus hit to the domestic economy. The central bank on Monday asked banks for information about their readiness for the possibility of zero or negative rates.

All eyes this week will be on a European Union summit for clues on Brexit negotiations after Johnson imposed an Oct. 15 deadline for a trade deal with the bloc. A report said EU leaders are expected to insist on tough enforcement rules for any deal.


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