FTSE 100 set to head sharply lower as US struggles to contain coronavirus spread


FTSE 100 set to head sharply lower as US struggles to contain coronavirus spread

The FTSE 100 looks set open sharply lower amid worries about a coronavirus second wave and the ability of the US to contain the outbreak.

Asia’s main markets set the tone as the global death toll from the pandemic hit half a million.

Worrying was the decision by certain American states to reconsider easing lockdown restrictions.

“Rising infection rates in the US, which saw some US states either postpone their reopening’s or close back down again, saw equity markets slide lower on the week on Friday, over concerns that any economic recovery may well take longer to take hold,” said Michael Hewson of CMC Markets.

“In spite of these concerns the losses that we saw turned out to be fairly modest when compared to previous sessions, as well as previous weeks.

“There is no question that some investors are calling into question the pace of any recovery in economic output, with gold prices hitting their highest levels since October 2012.

“However, the reality remains that while there is concern about the economic impact of a second lockdown, the bar to another countrywide one being implemented remains very high indeed.”

Gold, a haven investment in times of economic strife, found support at just under US$1,800 an ounce, while the price of crude oil eased amid worries that a faltering global economy will hit demand.

Looking ahead, it is expected to be a busy week for scheduled corporate news with updates expected from budget carrier easyJet (LON:EZJ), the supermarket chain Sainsbury (LON:SBRY) and Associated British Foods (LON:ABF), the owner of Primark.

Around the markets: Pound worth US$1.2368 (up 0.36%); gold changing hands for US$1,787.90 an ounce, up US$7.80; Brent crude US$40.15 a barrel, down 87 cents.                                  

Monday’s main news

Finals: Advanced Oncotherapy PLC (LON:AVO), Equals Group PLC (LON:EQLS), GB Group PLC (LON:GBG), Victoria Oil & Gas PLC (LON:VOG)

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