London open: Stocks steady as vaccine news fails to provide a boost
(Sharecast News) - London stocks were little changed in early trade on Wednesday as investors paused for breath following strong gains in the previous session, with news the UK has approved Pfizer's Covid-19 vaccine for rollout next week failing to boost markets.
At 0850 GMT, the FTSE 100 was steady at 6,384.12.
Spreadex analyst Connor Campbell said: "Despite the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine receiving emergency use authorisation in the UK, the markets were at a low ebb on Wednesday, unable to build on Tuesday's month-opening gains.
"One would be tempted to think that the FTSE fared best after the bell - falling just 0.1% - because of the UK becoming the first Western nation to approve a vaccine.
"However, it is likely instead because the pound is down 0.4% against the dollar and half a percent against the euro, following reports that there is tension within the EU over the number of concessions Michel Barnier and his negotiating team are potentially giving away to the UK.
"The deadline for a deal is now less than a month, and it is currently hard to gauge just how close an agreement actually is. The pound can expect a few more mornings like this one before the year is over."
In equity markets, housebuilders were among the worst performers, having rallied on Tuesday on the back of upbeat data from mortgage lender Nationwide. Barratt, Taylor Wimpey, Berkeley and Persimmon were all weaker.
Sainsbury's was the worst performer on the FTSE 100 after rival Tesco said it would repay £585m of Covid-19 business rates relief to the UK as Britain's supermarkets came under pressure to return the money. The supermarket chain said it had used all the money to respond to the pandemic but that its business had proved resilient.
The company's move will put pressure on Sainsbury's, Morrisons and other supermarkets that have paid dividends during the crisis to repay business rates relief.
Avon Rubber slumped despite posting better-than-expected full-year results.
Workspace provider IWG was under the cosh after saying it would raise £300m in a convertible bond issue to help pay for a string of planned acquisitions at attractive prices.
On the upside, security services firm G4S surged after Canada's GardaWorld lifted its offer for the company to 235p a share, valuing it at £3.68bn. The new, and final, offer is a premium on Tuesday's closing price of 229p.
FTSE 100 (UKX) 6,384.12 -0.01%
FTSE 250 (MCX) 19,743.38 -0.51%
techMARK (TASX) 3,943.88 -0.44%
FTSE 100 - Risers
Land Securities Group (LAND) 703.60p 2.03%
Rolls-Royce Holdings (RR.) 114.20p 1.87%
Bunzl (BNZL) 2,391.00p 1.31%
HSBC Holdings (HSBA) 411.10p 1.23%
Fresnillo (FRES) 1,128.00p 1.17%
Associated British Foods (ABF) 2,198.00p 0.96%
London Stock Exchange Group (LSE) 8,066.00p 0.95%
International Consolidated Airlines Group SA (CDI) (IAG) 164.20p 0.89%
National Grid (NG.) 862.60p 0.89%
Coca-Cola HBC AG (CDI) (CCH) 2,203.00p 0.87%
FTSE 100 - Fallers
Sainsbury (J) (SBRY) 208.00p -3.75%
Barratt Developments (BDEV) 633.00p -3.48%
Persimmon (PSN) 2,765.00p -2.61%
Legal & General Group (LGEN) 259.40p -2.41%
Aveva Group (AVV) 3,105.00p -2.39%
Berkeley Group Holdings (The) (BKG) 4,790.00p -2.02%
Melrose Industries (MRO) 162.50p -1.75%
Taylor Wimpey (TW.) 163.30p -1.66%
Vodafone Group (VOD) 123.50p -1.55%
Evraz (EVR) 396.70p -1.27%
FTSE 250 - Risers
G4S (GFS) 246.50p 7.64%
Cineworld Group (CINE) 65.50p 5.65%
Mitchells & Butlers (MAB) 239.00p 3.91%
Scottish Inv Trust (SCIN) 736.00p 3.37%
Carnival (CCL) 1,409.00p 2.92%
Aston Martin Lagonda Global Holdings (AML) 74.70p 2.33%
Brewin Dolphin Holdings (BRW) 284.00p 2.16%
FirstGroup (FGP) 63.10p 2.02%
Henderson Smaller Companies Inv Trust (HSL) 1,026.00p 1.99%
Hochschild Mining (HOC) 234.00p 1.83%
FTSE 250 - Fallers
Avon Rubber (AVON) 4,255.00p -8.00%
IWG (IWG) 327.40p -6.88%
Airtel Africa (AAF) 81.90p -5.65%
CMC Markets (CMCX) 379.00p -4.77%
Hiscox Limited (DI) (HSX) 1,054.00p -3.96%
Virgin Money UK (VMUK) 136.15p -3.95%
Wood Group (John) (WG.) 296.60p -3.54%
Ninety One (N91) 213.40p -3.35%
Centamin (DI) (CEY) 116.20p -2.88%
Bellway (BWY) 2,936.00p -2.46%
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