London Markets: Resource stocks drive gains for FTSE 100 after biggest drop since the early days of the pandemic
London stocks rose on Monday after suffering the worst one-day drop since the early days of the pandemic, due to the revelation of the omicron variant of COVID that some worry could end up more contagious than delta.
The FTSE 100 index
was poised to finish the day with a gain of around 1%, leaving the main index at 7,119.56. Friday saw the FTSE drop 3.6%, the biggest one-day point decline since March 27, 2020. The pound
fell 0.2% to $1.3299.
The bulk of London’s Friday losses came from a selloff in resource stocks as investors worried that the omicron variant could weigh on the global recovery if contagion levels rise and more restrictions are needed. All arriving U.K. visitors will need to isolate until they can show a negative PCR test against COVID, and a mask mandate for shops and public transport have been reinstated.
The U.K., as well as other countries have barred visitors from South Africa, which announced the emergence of the variant on Friday, as well as other African nations.
The day’s biggest gainer was BT
up 6% on speculation that India’s Reliance Group was considering a bid — though that was subsequently denied, said Michael Hewson, chief market analyst at CMC Markets, in a note to clients. He added that there have also been reports that private equity had been looking to acquire BT’s digital network business Openreach.