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    UKX   GB0001383545

FTSE 100

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FTSE 100 drops by most in three weeks as dour earnings, stronger pound weigh

02/18/2021 | 12:33pm EDT
FILE PHOTO: The London Stock Exchange Group offices are seen in the City of London, Britain

(Reuters) - London's FTSE 100 fell on Thursday by the most in nearly three weeks as a set of glum earnings reports underscored the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, while a stronger pound also weighed on the export-heavy index.

The blue-chip FTSE 100 closed 1.4% lower, led by declines in healthcare, energy and banking stocks, while the mid-cap index fell 1%.

Sterling edged up against both the euro and the dollar, reaching its highest in almost a year. [GBP/]

Barclays fell 4.4% after the British lender's 2020 annual profit halved.

"The company (Barclays) got the cold shoulder from the market as attention was drawn by large provisions on Covid-related bad debt and a warning of a continuing impact through the course of 2021," said Russ Mould, investment director at AJ Bell.

Meanwhile, Bank of England policymaker Michael Saunders said negative interest rates may soon be the best tool for the Bank of England, and raised the prospect of unemployment taking a long time to return to pre-pandemic levels.

England's third national COVID-19 lockdown is helping reduce infections, a study found, but the prevalence of cases remains high as Prime Minister Boris Johnson eyes a cautious route to re-opening the economy.

The FTSE 100 has recovered nearly 35% from its March 2020 lows but has been largely range-bound since the beginning of this year as weak corporate earnings undermine hopes of economic growth in the second half of the year.

Smith+Nephew fell 5.9% after warning that the impact of the pandemic is likely to continue into the first half of 2021 and posting a drop in annual trading profit.

Indivior fell 6.5% after the opioid addiction treatment maker predicted 2021 revenue would slip on a difficult first-half and posted an annual revenue decline of 18%.

(Reporting by Shivani Kumaresan, Amal S and Shashank Nayar in Bengaluru; Editing by Kirsten Donovan)

By Shashank Nayar


© Reuters 2021
Stocks mentioned in the article
ChangeLast1st jan.
AJ BELL PLC 1.23% 460.2 Delayed Quote.6.16%
AUSTRALIAN DOLLAR / EURO (AUD/EUR) 0.00% 0.6452 Delayed Quote.2.79%
CANADIAN DOLLAR / EURO (CAD/EUR) -0.01% 0.66749 Delayed Quote.3.50%
FTSE 100 0.52% 7019.53 Delayed Quote.8.65%
INDIVIOR PLC 0.60% 134 Delayed Quote.23.16%
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