BUSINESS LIVE: FTSE dives 3% on fresh Covid variant fears

BUSINESS LIVE: Vaccine rally winners tumble as FTSE dives almost 3% on fresh Covid variant fears

Airline, oil, travel and bank shares led the fallers this morning as the FTSE 100 plunged almost 3 per cent on a sell-off driven by fresh Covid variant fears.

The stocks being ditched by investors opting for caution represent those that have benefited the most from the vaccine rally trade, seen since successful Covid jabs emerged just over a year ago. 

At 9.30am the FTSE 100 was down 3.1 per cent at 7,084.4, although this is 11 per cent higher than a year ago.

By 1pm, the leading London stock market index had clawed back some ground and was trading down 2.6 per cent at 7,120.8.

Flights from South Africa and five other countries to the UK have been banned after health secretary Sajid Javid last night sounded the alarm. Experts explained the B.1.1.529 variant has more than 30 mutations – the most ever recorded in a variant and twice as many as Delta – that suggest it could be more jab-resistant and transmissible than any version before it.

Germany’s recovery was beginning to stutter even before a fourth wave of Covid engulfed Europe, figures have revealed. 

Meanwhile, in the UK a report says the panoply of Covid loans and support schemes have protected the economy, but they have also served as gigantic honey pots for swarms of fraudsters and chancers. 

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The FTSE 100's biggest fallers in trading this morning as the index fell 2.6% by lunchtime

The FTSE 100’s biggest fallers in trading this morning as the index fell 2.6% by lunchtime


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