London’s blue-chip FTSE 100 Index fell 106.54 points, or 1.73%, to 6,049.62 as Covid-19 continued to weigh heavily on the world’s leading financial markets today.
The French Cac 40 and German Dax indices were lower by 1.21% and 0.04% respectively, while in the US the Dow Jones was 1.5% weaker soon after close of play in London.
Strong performances by housebuilding stocks bucked the trend in the wake of government measures to stimulate activity in the sector.
Persimmon led the risers’ board, up nearly 6.5% at £25.89, Berkeley Group jumped 3.8% to £44, Barratt Developments was nearly 2% higher at 532.2p and Taylor Wimpey gained about 1.4% at 143.4p.
The Footsie was dragged lower by the likes of aerospace giant Rolls-Royce – down nearly 11% at 256.3p after it warned it may take years to recover from Covid-19 – and National Grid, which fell 5.47% to £8.50 on the back of new price control proposals from energy regulator Ofgem.
Global energy giant BP was also among the bigger fallers, down 4.43% at £2.90 as oil prices took a tumble. Benchmark Brent crude was down more than 2% at $42.36 per barrel, as of 6.30pm.