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UPDATE 2-British stocks fall on COVID-19 risks; Signature Aviation, JD Sports surge

CoronavirusJan 11, 2021 17:54
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(For a Reuters live blog on U.S., UK and European stock
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* Signature Aviation surges 7% on takeover deal
* Next few weeks of the pandemic will be the worst - Whitty
* JD Sports jumps on higher full year profit forecast
* FTSE 100 down 1.1%, FTSE 250 drops 1.4%

(Updates to close)
By Shashank Nayar
Jan 11 (Reuters) - London stocks ended lower 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 1.1%, after
gaining for five consecutive sessions, with auto .FTNMX3350
healthcare .FTNMX4530 and mining stocks .FTNMX1770 leading
the declines.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson said Britain was in "a race
against time" to roll out vaccines as deaths hit record highs
and hospitals ran out of oxygen. His top medical adviser Chris
Whitty said the pandemic's worst weeks were imminent.
Miners Rio Tinto RIO.L and BHP Group BHPB.L were the top
drags on the index, as metal prices dropped on demand worries
fueled by surging coronavirus cases in top metals consumer
China. METL/
"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, while global cases of
COVID-19 surpassed 90 million. The mid-cap index .FTMC ended 1.4% lower, led by weakness
in consumer stocks, while JD Sports was the top gainer on the
index after it forecast its full-year profit to be
"significantly ahead" of market expectations. “It demonstrates the fact that retail spending itself has
held up reasonably well despite the crisis – it's just that
sales have shifted from physical stores to the internet," said
Russ Mould, investment director at AJ Bell.
Signature Aviation SIGSI.L jumped 7.2% 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 .

UPDATE 2-British stocks fall on COVID-19 risks; Signature Aviation, JD Sports surge
 

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