(Sharecast News) - London's top-flight index closed below the waterline on Monday, despite a flurry of merger and acquisition news and Covid-19 vaccine hopes.
The FTSE 100 ended the session down 0.1% at 6,026.25, while the FTSE 250 was ahead 0.69% at 17,677.26.
Sterling was stronger against both of its major trading pairs, last rising 0.76% on the dollar to $1.2893, and advancing 0.42% against the euro to €1.0851.
"After an initially positive start to the day European markets have struggled to make much in the way of progress, despite a huge amount of M&A news hitting the tape," said CMC Markets chief market analyst Michael Hewson.
"It appears to be becoming much more difficult to separate the optimism around the chatter about progress on a vaccine, with the economic reality that tighter restrictions are likely to curtail the current rebound in economic activity across the bloc."
"The rising tide of coronavirus cases across the UK and Europe and the resultant tightening of restrictions, along with the announcement by the CEO of the world's largest vaccine maker, the Serum Institute of India, that it could take until 2024 before everyone is inoculated has helped to temper some of this morning's early enthusiasm."
The move lower in equity markets came despite a slew of M&A news and confirmation that AstraZeneca and Oxford University were resuming their Covid-19 vaccine trials in the UK.
In deal news, Japan's SoftBank said it had agreed to sell Arm Holdings to Nvidia for $40bn, just four years after buying the chipmaker.
SoftBank would become Nvidia's largest shareholder after the Japanese group receives $21.5bn in common stock and $12bn in cash.
Investors were also digesting reports that Oracle has beaten rival Microsoft in negotiations for the US operations of ByteDance's TikTok.
IG analyst Joshua Mahony said the news "does help ease friction between the US and China, yet there will be questions over just how much data remains available to the main entity".
Meanwhile, Gilead Sciences said over the weekend that it had agreed to buy biotech company Immunomedics in a $21bn deal.
Gilead would pay $88 per share in cash for Immunomedics, which will strengthen its cancer drug portfolio.
Shares of security services firm G4S surged 25.05% after privately-owned Canadian rival GardaWorld announced a 190p per share possible offer valuing the company at £2.96bn.
Euronext confirmed that it had made a non-binding offer to London Stock Exchange to buy Borsa Italiana.
The offer was made in partnership with Italian state lender Cassa Depositi e Prestiti (CDP) and Intesa Sanpaolo.
Shares in London Stock Exchange Group ended the day down 0.78%.
Away from M&A, pub group JD Wetherspoon was down 1.35% after it emerged that 66 members of staff have tested positive for the coronavirus across 50 of its pubs.
Online supermarket Ocado was a 3.93% firmer, a day ahead of the release of its third-quarter trading statement.
FTSE 100 (UKX) 6,026.25 -0.10%
FTSE 250 (MCX) 17,677.26 0.69%
techMARK (TASX) 3,849.35 0.56%
FTSE 100 - Risers
International Consolidated Airlines Group SA (CDI) (IAG) 134.80p 4.80%
Ocado Group (OCDO) 2,355.00p 3.93%
Compass Group (CPG) 1,313.50p 3.14%
Land Securities Group (LAND) 543.10p 2.51%
British Land Company (BLND) 347.10p 2.48%
BAE Systems (BA.) 520.20p 2.40%
Lloyds Banking Group (LLOY) 26.44p 2.16%
Informa (INF) 404.20p 2.04%
Intertek Group (ITRK) 6,258.00p 2.02%
BT Group (BT.A) 112.00p 2.00%
FTSE 100 - Fallers
Polymetal International (POLY) 1,933.50p -3.76%
Fresnillo (FRES) 1,301.50p -3.74%
Intermediate Capital Group (ICP) 1,230.00p -2.15%
BP (BP.) 257.10p -1.89%
Morrison (Wm) Supermarkets (MRW) 177.20p -1.72%
Royal Dutch Shell 'A' (RDSA) 1,065.20p -1.68%
Antofagasta (ANTO) 1,096.00p -1.66%
Tesco (TSCO) 217.40p -1.54%
DCC (DCC) 6,326.00p -1.46%
Persimmon (PSN) 2,492.00p -1.46%
FTSE 250 - Risers
G4S (GFS) 181.55p 24.43%
IP Group (IPO) 75.20p 5.92%
Apax Global Alpha Limited (APAX) 170.00p 4.94%
Meggitt (MGGT) 277.20p 4.88%
AO World (AO.) 191.00p 4.37%
OneSavings Bank (OSB) 306.20p 4.22%
Equiniti Group (EQN) 113.20p 3.85%
Pets at Home Group (PETS) 287.00p 3.76%
Oxford Biomedica (OXB) 860.00p 3.61%
Sabre Insurance Group (SBRE) 274.50p 3.58%
FTSE 250 - Fallers
Rank Group (RNK) 115.60p -6.02%
FirstGroup (FGP) 40.90p -4.93%
Royal Mail (RMG) 222.90p -4.62%
Petrofac Ltd. (PFC) 136.25p -3.74%
Cineworld Group (CINE) 50.10p -3.65%
Investec (INVP) 140.35p -3.47%
Barr (A.G.) (BAG) 369.50p -2.51%
Vivo Energy (VVO) 73.50p -2.39%
Babcock International Group (BAB) 230.50p -2.25%
Wetherspoon (J.D.) (JDW) 906.00p -2.21%
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