London stocks slip as new coronavirus curbs dent mood


By Devik Jain

Oct 27 (Reuters) - London stocks edged lower on Tuesday as worries about fresh COVID-19 curbs in England offset upbeat results from HSBC and BP.

The blue-chip FTSE 100 index .FTSE slipped 0.2% in choppy trading, dragged lower by mining .FTNMX1770, travel and leisure .FTNMX5750 and insurance .FTNMX8570 stocks.

The domestically-focussed mid-cap FTSE 250 index .FTMC lost 0.6%, with shares in online trading platform Plus500 Ltd PLUSP.L tumbling 8.2% to the bottom of index on dour outlook.

Uncertainty over a Brexit trade deal and concerns about the financial fallout from new coronavirus-related restrictions have kept the FTSE 100 in a tight trading range since June, with the blue-chip index on course for its second straight monthly decline.

In the latest round of restrictions, Warrington in northwest England will be classified as the highest Tier 3 alert level, while Nottingham in central England and three nearby towns would have similar restrictions.

"There's an awful lot more apprehension about how events over the next few days are likely to play out," said Michael Hewson, chief market analyst at CMC Markets UK.

"The sky is darkening as winter comes and investors are getting increasingly nervous about the ability of not only central bankers, but also politicians to address the challenges coming their way."

Asian markets also slipped after a stalemate over a U.S. fiscal package ahead of the Nov. 3 presidential election.

In a bright spot, Asia-focussed HSBC Holdings Plc HSBA.L jumped 5.9% after it signalled a pandemic-induced overhaul of its business model.

The wider banks sub-index .FTNMX8350 gained 3.3%.

BP Plc BP.L added 1.8% after the oil major swung to a small profit in the third quarter, beating forecasts.

Bloomsbury Publishing Plc BLPU.L gained 15.7% after the Harry Potter publisher posted higher first-half profit and resumed dividend.

(Reporting by Devik Jain in Bengaluru; editing by Uttaresh.V, Aditya Soni)

((Devik.Jain@thomsonreuters.com; within U.S. +1 646 223 8780; outside U.S. +91 80 6182 2062; ;))

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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