BUSINESS LIVE: FTSE dives 3% on new Covid variant fears

BUSINESS CLOSE: Vaccine rally winners fall as FTSE dives 3.6% on new Covid variant fears

The FTSE 100 closed 3.6%, or 266.34 points, at 7,044.03 in a sell-off driven by fears about a new vaccine-resistant variant of Covid.

The stocks discarded by investors who opted for caution represent those who have benefited heavily from vaccine rally trading, seen since the successful Covid jabs appeared just over a year ago.

This morning the FTSE 100 fell 3.1 percent, although it was 11 percent higher than a year ago.

By lunchtime, the leading London stock market index had fallen and dropped 2.6 per cent, but it fell again at the end.

Flights from South Africa and five other countries to the UK have been banned after health secretary Sajid Javid was alarmed about Covid’s development.

Experts explained that the B.1.1.529 variant has more than 30 mutations – the most recorded in one variant and twice as many as in Delta – suggesting that it may be more jab -resistant and transmissible than any version before it.

Germany’s recovery is starting to stutter even before the fourth wave of Covid engulfs Europe, figures have revealed.

Meanwhile, in the UK a report says extensive Covid loans and support schemes are protecting the economy, but they have served as a huge honey pot for hordes of fraudsters and chancers.

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The biggest fallers of the FTSE 100 as the index closed today