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Lockdowns, Brexit woes cap gains on London stocks

  • The blue-chip index climbed 1.0pc, led by pharmaceutical, aero, mining and retail stocks.
16 Oct 2020

London's FTSE 100 jumped 1pc to snap a four-day losing streak on Friday, although gains were capped by Brexit-related uncertainty and new lockdowns to contain a resurgence in cases of the novel coronavirus.

The blue-chip index climbed 1.0pc, led by pharmaceutical, aero, mining and retail stocks.

UK stocks had tumbled in the previous session as new restrictions were imposed in London against the backdrop of growing anger over the economic, social and health costs of the biggest curtailment of freedoms since World War Two.

But the mid-cap FTSE 250 index rose 0.2pc on Friday as investors awaited Prime Minister Boris Johnson's response to the European Union's demand that he either give more concessions to secure a trade deal or brace for a disorderly Brexit in three months.

"The fact that (the talks) are getting a little fraught at this stage probably isn't a surprise to most investors," said Richard Dunbar, head of multi-asset research at Aberdeen Standard Investments.

"In the end, the best outcome is likely to be a fairly narrow trade deal."

In company news, J D Wetherspoon Plc tumbled 14.0pc after the pub operator posted an annual loss and announced job cuts as it called for "sensible" government measures to contain the health crisis.

Jupiter Fund Management Plc shed 1.8pc after the asset manager suffered one billion pounds in net outflows in the third quarter.

Shares of oil major BP Plc rose 1.2pc after falling to their lowest level since 1995 in the previous session.

Luxury goods maker Burberry Group Plc jumped 3.4pc after the world's biggest luxury goods group, LVMH, said recovering sales of Louis Vuitton handbags had helped it contain the fallout from the pandemic in the third quarter.

Man Group Plc jumped 5.8pc after the hedge fund manager reported a 4.4pc rise in funds under management as of September-end aided by market recovery.