FTSE 100 suffers worst day in over a year as virus variant spooks the market

Business

More than £65bn was wiped off the UK stock market on Friday, reflecting fears that a new coronavirus variant could wreak further havoc on international business and travel.

The FTSE 100 fell more than 3%, or 240 points, as the market opened on Friday morning, following steep drops in global markets.

Shares in major airlines plummeted with IAG, the owner of British Airways, falling more than 21% in early trading, while EasyJet plunged 16%. The UK government said it would add six countries, including South Africa, to the red list, with flights being temporarily banned.

Engine maker Rolls-Royce and oil giants BP and Shell were also among big fallers.

Overnight, Asian markets suffered their sharpest drop in two months after the detection of the possibly vaccine-resistant coronavirus variant.

The variant, first identified in Botswana, has a “very unusual constellation” of mutations that could help it dodge vaccine immunity and natural antibodies, scientists have said.

Articles You May Like

Truss and Kwarteng to meet fiscal watchdog tomorrow after MPs demand full economic forecast
Ukraine forces Russian troops out of key city a day after Putin’s annexation
Intel’s self-driving car division Mobileye files for IPO
‘The water was way above our heads’: Residents tell of dramatic escape from Hurricane Ian
Tax rate U-turn lifts pound – but markets still fret over govt credibility