The FTSE 100 gave up any gains by lunchtime on Friday to trade 0.8% lower at 5,776.34.
Not helping sentiment was news that London has been placed on a UK Covid watchlist amid a surge in infections. European markets were also weak with the US futures markets implying there will be a poor start on Wall Street later.
Closer to home there was renewed weakness for those businesses at the sharp end of the pandemic like aviation sector exposed British Airways owner International Consolidated Airlines (IAG) and Rolls-Royce (RR.), along with hotels group InterContinental Hotels (IHG) and commercial property landlord Land Securities (LAND).
Online fashion retailer Boohoo (BOO:AIM) jumped 9.7% to 355.9p, even after an independent review identified 'many failings' in its Leicester supply chain, which was the subject of an under-paid worker scandal earlier in the year.
On the plus side, the review concluded Boohoo 'did non intentionally profit' from the failings. The company said it was implementing enhancements to its supplier audit and compliance procedures.
Infant merchandise retailer Mothercare (MTC) was also a big gainer, rallying 11% to 9.4p, as it swung to a full-year profit, having booked a one-off gain on the loss of control of its UK business.
Mothercare, however, also posted an underlying loss as revenue fell. On current trading, its said in the first 28 weeks of the 2021 financial year, its franchise partners had recorded a 39% slump in retail sales.
Elsewhere, budget carrier Wizz Air (WIZZ) descended 2.7% to £30.12 on announcing that it now expected to operate at 50% of capacity in October year-on-year, citing ongoing travel restrictions owing to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Wizz Air also said that, should restrictions remain at current levels, it likely wouldn't operate at a higher level of capacity during winter than its projection for October.
London West End property investor Shaftesbury (SHB) fell 0.4% to 459.6p after it decided to scrap its final dividend, while warning that fresh government lockdowns could stymie a recent recovery in retail footfall.
Shaftesbury said 41% of its rent due for the six months through September had been collected. Another 10% was expected to be subject to deferred collection arrangements, 23% was being waived and 26% remained outstanding at 11 September.
Water utility Pennon (PNN) ticked up 0.3% to £10.43, having announced that it would update investors in November about its plans for its cash pile, with acquisitions and returns to shareholder both still on the company's radar.
In a trading update, Pennon also said it was on track to deliver 'resilient' financial results for the year through 30 September in line with its expectations, including a Covid-19 hit to revenue of £10 million.
Office assets developer Circle Property (CRC:AIM) rose 1.8% to 150.2p even after it reported a slump in profit as lower revaluation gains of its properties offset a rise in rental income.
Circle also declared a final dividend of 2p per share, bringing its total annual dividend to 5.3p per share.
Natural resources royalty and streaming company Anglo Pacific (APF) firmed 12.4% to 115p as it launched an up to £5 million share buyback.
New restaurants IPO Various Eateries (VARE:AIM) made its debut on AIM. The business, founded by hospitality entrepreneur Hugh Osmond, was down 8% on its issue price to 67p.