The UK’s blue-chip index fell to more than one-month lows on Friday, with commodities, travel, and banking sectors falling as a newly identified and possibly vaccine-resistant coronavirus strain dampened global investors’ risk appetite.
By 0817 GMT, the FTSE 100 index had down 3.3%, putting it on track for its largest one-day drop in almost a year.
TUI declined 9.9%, while airline businesses such as Wizz Air, EasyJet, and British Airways owner IAG plunged 16% to 20.9% as a result of travel restrictions imposed by UK authorities on South Africa and five neighbouring nations.
Britain stated that the newly uncovered variety spreading in South Africa was seen by scientists to be the most serious one discovered thus far and that it needed to be determined whether or not it rendered vaccinations useless.
Energy and mining companies slumped 6.6% and 4.5%, respectively, reflecting a drop in commodity prices on renewed concerns about an economic downturn. The domestically oriented mid-cap index fell 2.7%.