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LONDON: London’s FTSE 100 ended flat on Monday, as weakness in banks and consumer discretionary stocks outweighed gains in defensive sectors, although further easing of lockdown measures in England paved the way for a pickup in economic activity.

The blue-chip FTSE 100 index ended down 0.08%, with bank stocks including HSBC Holdings, Barclays and Prudential Financial Inc falling between 1% and 1.8%.

Consumer discretionary stocks, including Flutter Entertainment, Compass Group, Entain PLC and Persimmon plc were among the top decliners.

Meanwhile, defensive plays including consumer staples, healthcare and utilities were among the top advancers.

“An easing of restrictions in England failed to act as a catalyst for the FTSE 100,” said Russ Mould, director at AJ Bell investment.

“With both Credit Suisse and Nomura warning of a hit in the fallout from the saga, investors have been reminded of the interconnectedness of the global financial system and how this creates a risk of contagion when something goes wrong.”

Nomura and Credit Suisse both flagged significant losses following transactions with an unnamed US client, although both announcements came after Archegos Capital Management roiled financial markets on Friday with a number of significant block trades. A raft of global stimulus has helped the FTSE 100 recover more than 37% from a coronavirus-driven crash last year, but a recent rise in COVID-19 cases across Europe has dampened investor sentiment. The domestically focused mid-cap FTSE 250 index slipped 0.2%, dragged down by industrials stocks.

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