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CORRECTED-UPDATE 1-FTSE 100 falls on COVID-19 risks; Signature Aviation surges

CoronavirusJan 11, 2021 12:06
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© Reuters.

(Corrects to add dropped word "former" in paragraph 10)
* Signature Aviation surges 7% on takeover deal
* Next few weeks of the pandemic will be the worst - Witty
* easyJet raises $1.87 bln through new 5-year loan facility
* FTSE 100 down 0.5%, FTSE 250 rises 0.1%

By Shashank Nayar
Jan 11 (Reuters) - The FTSE 100 dropped on Monday as rising
coronavirus cases across Europe stoked worries about its
near-term economic impact, while Signature Aviation jumped on
reaching an agreement for a takeover deal with Global
Infrastructure Partners.
The blue-chip FTSE 100 index .FTSE fell 0.5%, after
gaining for five consecutive sessions, with auto .FTNMX3350
and healthcare stocks .FTNMX4530 leading the declines.
Britain's chief medical adviser Chris Witty warned that the
next few weeks of the COVID-19 pandemic will be the worst as the
new, highly-infectious variants of the virus rampage across the
country. "COVID-19 risks have taken centerstage again after last
week's rally and the only reason why the FTSE 100 has not fallen
further today is because the pound has taken most of the heat,"
said Connor Campbell, a financial analyst at SpreadEx.
The British pound GBP= dropped 0.5% against the U.S.
dollar to its lowest level since Dec. 29 due to concerns about
the spread of the virus in the country. Global cases of COVID-19 have surpassed 90 million, as
nations continue to scramble to procure vaccines and extend or
reinstate lockdowns to fight new virus variants. However, the export-heavy FTSE 100 has gained 38% from its
March 2020 lows and hovers at levels seen in late-February last
year when the coronavirus crisis began to ravage risk assets
globally, helped by record government spending and optimism
around vaccine rollouts.
The mid-cap index .FTMC was up 0.1% on Monday.
British airline easyJet EZJ.L reversed early gains and
fell 0.9% after it boosted its liquidity through a new five-year
loan facility of $1.87 billion, backed by a partial guarantee
from Britain. Signature Aviation SIGSI.L jumped 7.7% after Global
Infrastructure Partners, the former owner of London's Gatwick
Airport, reached an agreement to buy the company for about $4.63
billion, trumping an approach from Blackstone Group BX.N .

CORRECTED-UPDATE 1-FTSE 100 falls on COVID-19 risks; Signature Aviation surges
 

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