Virus worries knock FTSE to 1-month lows, British Airways owner sinks 15%
UK's blue-chip index hit more than one-month lows on Friday, with commodity, travel, and banking stocks slumping after a newly detected and possibly vaccine-resistant coronavirus variant sapped risk appetite among global investors.
The FTSE 100 index () declined 3.3% by 0817 GMT — on course for its biggest one-day fall in over a year.
Tourism group TUI () fell 9.9%, while airline companies like Wizz Air (), Easyjet (EJZ.L) and British Airways owner IAG () lost 16% to 20.9% after UK authorities imposed travel restrictions from South Africa and five neighbouring countries.
Britain said that the newly identified variant spreading in South Africa was considered by scientists to be the most significant one found yet and so it needed to ascertain whether or not it made vaccines ineffective.
Energy (.FTNMX601010) and mining stocks (.FTNMX551020) fell 6.6% and 4.5%, respectively, tracking a slump in commodity prices amid fresh economic slowdown fears. O/R MET/L
The domestically focussed mid-cap index (.FTMC) dropped 2.7%.