The UK’s major stocks fell on Monday with investors worried about the stability of recovery as the EU’s threat to withhold vaccine exports to the UK added to the tetchy mood on the London market.

The benchmark FTSE 100 declined 0.36% to 6,684.85 in early trading as energy and mining stocks dragged as oil and metals prices slipped over fears of slowing demand. Investors also continue to fret over warnings that international travel bans may be extended several months, putting a hold on holidays.

Throwing fuel on the fires of uncertainty was the Turkish lira falling out of bed after president Erdogan sacked his globally respected central bank chief and replaced him with a little-known professor of banking over the weekend.

The ripples were felt on both the bond and equity markets, particularly during a choppy session in Asia earlier.

TRAVEL STOCKS LEAD FALL

The big fallers on the London market were led by British Airways-owner International Consolidated Airlines (IAG), which lost nearly 7% at 192.85p, with jet engines supplier Rolls Royce (RR.) and global hotels chain InterContinental Hotels (IHG) as falling sharply.

Oil heavyweights BP (BP.) and Royal Dutch Shell (RDSB) were also big drags on the index, while mining stocks, including Rio Tinto (RIO)Anglo American (AAL), and BHP (BHP) were also among the biggest laggards, falling between 0.4% and 1.3%.

EasyJet (EZJ) led the mic-cap FTSE 250 down after falling 7% to 923.8p with holidays operator TUI (TUI) also dropped, losing 6% at 373.8p.

On the up was B&Q-owner Kingfisher (KGF), which advanced 3.3% to 323.2p as its sales surged thanks to click-and-collect. AstraZeneca (AZN) also held firm in the face of the storm around its vaccine and the jabs’ exports, adding 0.9% to £71.72.

Investors focused instead on a new study that showed the Astra/Oxford University developed drug was both safe and effective for older recipients.

ELSEWHERE ON THE MARKET

Gold miner Centamin (CEY) gained 2% to 106.93p as it reported a jump in profit, after lower output was more than offset by a surge in prices for the precious metal.

Drug development minnow Futura Medical (FUM:AIM) soared nearly 60% to 70p after positive trial data from its erectile dysfunction treatment MED3000.

Luxury car retailer Cambria Automobiles (CAMB:AIM) rallied 12% to 74p on news that it was mulling a possible management buyout, at 80p per share.

Student accommodation provider Unite (UTG) shed 1.2% to £10.08 after it received planning approval for a 700-bed development at Derby Road in Nottingham, estimated to cost £57 million to develop.

Video advertising group Tremor International (TRMR:AIM) rallied 11% to 674p on guiding for an annual profit for calendar 2021 'significantly ahead' of previous expectations.

Ship owner Tufton Oceanic Assets (SHIP) rose 0.8% to $0.98, having posted a large rise in first-half profit, underpinned by fixed-based charter revenue and higher containership valuations.

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Issue Date: 22 Mar 2021