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FTSE flat, mid caps hit as PM readies new restrictions

Credit: REUTERS/TOBY MELVILLE

London's FTSE 100 struggled to recover from its worst sell-off in three months on Tuesday, and domestically-focused mid-cap stocks fell, as investors awaited details of new curbs that will deliver another blow to Britain's coronavirus-weakened economy.

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Johnson to announce new lockdown restrictions

Whitbread falls on announcing job cuts

Beazley sees COVID-19 insurance claims doubling

FTSE 100 up 0.03%, FTSE 250 drops 0.7%

Updates price, adds comment

Sept 22 (Reuters) - London's FTSE 100struggled to recover from its worst sell-off in three months on Tuesday, and domestically-focused mid-cap stocks fell, as investors awaited details of new curbs that will deliver another blow to Britain's coronavirus-weakened economy.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson is expected to tell people to work from home and impose new restrictions on pubs, bars and restaurants in an attempt to tackle a swiftly accelerating second wave of the COVID-19 outbreak.

The mid-cap index .FTMC fell another 0.7% in early deals while blue-chip FTSE 100 index .FTSEwas flat to marginally higher, failing to take back any of an almost 3.5% loss on Monday that was its worst since June 11.

"The domestic mid-cap index is bearing the effect of investor risk averseness as they factor in the possibility of nationwide lockdown due to the coronavirus situation," said Andrea Cicione, a strategist at T.S. Lombard.

There was some support for the FTSE 100, he said, from a stronger dollar, which raises effective revenues for many of the index's multinationals, as well as from a bounce in U.S. technology stocks at the end of Wall Street's session on Monday.

Insurers .FTNMX8530 were the biggest losers after Beazley BEZG.L said it expects coronavirus related claims to double to $340 million, chiefly due to the cancellation of events in the wake of further spikes in infections.

Premier Inn-owner Whitbread WTB.L fell 3.3% after it said it could cut up to 6,000 jobs in its hotel and restaurant business as it expects demand to remain at lower levels in the short to medium term.

British American Tobacco BATS.L rose 2.9% after brokerage house RBC raised its rating to outperform.

(Reporting by Shashank Nayar in Bengaluru; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu and Patrick Graham)

((Shashank.Nayar@thomsonreuters.com; within U.S. +1 646 223 8780; outside U.S. +91 80 6182 2256;))

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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