Prices have fallen and stocks are under pressure again after a warning from the Moderna boss that existing vaccines are likely to be less effective against the omicron variant.
StÃ©phane Bancel also told the FT that it might take months for new vaccines to be developed on a sufficient scale. His comments sparked increased selling pressure after the FTSE 100 index rebounded 1% yesterday.
In corporate news, easyJet provided investors with the latest booking trends as well as the publication of annual results.
We are nearing the close here with the FTSE having now lost 30 points to 7077.
According to my Hargreaves Lansdown webpage, JD Sports is the biggest drop, which is down 80%.
Uh, either I missed something or it’s a mistake.
The London Stock Exchange took a hit, from 322p to 6546p. Sainsbury’s is also off, down from 12p to 279p.
A previous stock rally came to an abrupt end when Moderna boss StÃ©phane Bancel said there would be a “significant drop” in the effectiveness of the vaccine on the Omicron Covid strain.
TSB branch closures: banks need personal data, not buildings
A bit of a reaction here to previous news that TSB is closing 70 more branches.
This stuff never works well, but it is clear that they would keep the branches if enough people used them.
A technical overview from Johnny Steele of analysis company SAS:
âThe insights that can be gleaned from the data produced by every digital interaction is the key to delivering highly personalized and rewarding customer experiences. Customers are increasingly aware of this; they want to enjoy a seamless digital experience and, as a result, are increasingly willing to share personal data.
So we’re ready to click more and more, if that means our banks are treating us better. We don’t need a branch for this.
I wonder if the decision to close branches could hurt TSB boss Debbie Crosbie’s chances of getting the top job in the Nationwide Building Society.
His name did not appear on the press release announcing this news. Surely it should have been.
Be afraid, says Fed Chairman Powell
Federal Reserve Chairman Jay Powell believes Omicron’s setbacks may well hit the economy.
Not long ago, he told Congress that: âThe recent increase in Covid-19 cases and the emergence of the Omicron variant pose downside risks to jobs and economic activity. “
Translation: He’s not going to try to raise interest rates anytime soon.
This is my translation; I could be wrong.
Omicron is ‘more of the same’
Deutsche Bank is asking customers to calm down about the new variant of Covid-19.
In a newly released note, analysts at the bank said, âMany commentators view the new omicron COVID variant as an important new development for the outlook. This is not the case. The global economy has gone through several waves of viruses throughout the year; and market prices are currently where they are because of COVID and not despite it. Omicron just reinforces the trends that were unfolding anyway. “
The FTSE 100 had a strange day. By the time New York starts trading, our first index has lost just 24 points to 7086.
Maybe by the end of the game it will be in place.
Elsewhere, there is a record euro zone inflation of 4.9%. This puts pressure on the ECB, and in turn our Bank of England, to raise rates, even in the face of a vacant economy.
Perhaps the two central banks will start by cutting monetary stimulus rather than raising rates.
Would it even have an effect on inflation? I’m not so sure.
The TSB will close 70 branches
TSB will cut 70 more branches next year, including one on Baker Street in central London, the latest bank to announce customers are switching to digital services.
The closures are in addition to 164 closures announced in 2020. About 150 jobs are affected, although the TSB has said people will be offered alternate roles.
The FTSE analyzes the losses
Losses on the FTSE 100 eased slightly. The index lost just 52 points, or 0.7%, to 7,057.
Sainsbury’s is at the bottom of the FTSE 100, down 3.9%.
Facebook ordered to sell Giphy by UK competition watchdog
Britain’s competition watchdog has been bold in ordering Facebook to sell Giphy, the GIF platform it bought for $ 400 million last year.
The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) said its in-depth investigation concluded that Facebook’s ownership of Giphy had reduced competition in the online advertising market and could reduce competition between social media platforms. . Only a sale can solve the problems, the CMA said.
Marston boss says businesses are still making reservations for Christmas as pubco reports increased loss
Employers are hanging on to ad bookings for the Christmas holidays despite the new Omicron variant, Marston’s new boss said today.
Andrew Andrea, the pubco’s former chief financial officer who last month replaced Marston frontman for two decades, Ralph Findlay, told The Standard the group had not seen an increase in cancellations this week – but has Noted a tendency for companies to book light festive gatherings of 10 to 30 employees, rather than pre-Covid parties for 50 or 60 years and over.
He said: “The bookings started late, but they are happening. We are seeing office parties going on, but the employers are pretty responsibleâ¦ We were positively surprised and are continuing to educate ourselves.”
Andrea spoke as Marston – who owns an estate of over 1,500 pubs – provided results which showed an underlying pre-tax loss of Â£ 100million for the year affected by Covid through 2 October, up from Â£ 22million a year earlier.
The company withheld a dividend and shares were down 4.2% this morning on the update.
Read the full interview with the new CEO here
FTSE 100 Selling Pressure Continues
Stock market fears over the omicron variant escalated to send London’s FTSE 100 index below 7,000 for the first time in nearly two months.
The renewed selling pressure follows a warning from the boss of US vaccine maker Moderna that existing jabs could have difficulty with the new variant of Covid-19.
StÃ©phane Bancel told the FT that it could take months for pharmaceutical companies to manufacture enough vaccines on a scale sufficient to make a difference.
After recovering yesterday from Friday’s 3.6% rout, the FTSE 100 index fell more than 1.5% to drop to 6,989 at one point. The first flight then fell 91.51 points to 7,018.44.
AstraZeneca shares fell 1.5% or 124p to 8243p following comments from Bancel, with investors fearing the impact on earnings expectations if the company is unable to continue with plans to start to sell their existing vaccine at a cost greater than the cost.
The threat of further restrictions from Covid-19 kept the pressure on travel and leisure inventories, leaving InterContinental Hotels 3% or 155p down to 4445p and Rolls-Royce down 3.5p to 118.96p.
AJ Bell Chief Investment Officer Russ Mold said: âNo one knows how much trouble the new variant is going to cause, so it seems plausible that we will see increased volatility in the markets until ‘there is adequate data to better understand the configuration of the market. land. “
Other heavyweight stocks under pressure included BP and Royal Dutch Shell, with shares falling 2.5% after Brent crude slipped to $ 70 a barrel.
Lloyds Banking Group also fell 1p to 45.78p as markets increasingly rule out the chances of the Bank of England raising interest rates in December.
Defensive games including Reckitt Benckiser and Croda International were among a handful of blue chip stocks in positive territory.
The FTSE 250 index fell from 253.72 to 22,502.61, with homebuilder Countryside Properties down 21.8p to 418p in the wake of annual results.