FTSE recovers as China virus spread eases

European markets are notching higher this morning as the outbreak of the coronavirus in China seems to have slowed down for the moment.


European markets are notching higher this morning as the outbreak of the coronavirus in China seems to have slowed down for the moment. According to Chinese authorities the outbreak started in Wuhan, a city the size of London, and has so far affected 440 people and claimed 13 deaths. 

On the FTSE, mining companies and travel firms were hit the hardest but a flow of domestic corporate news helped push the index higher. Homebuilders gained ground after Berkeley said it would increase shareholder returns and boost construction by 50%.  

Sainsbury, Burberry drop 

Sainsbury’s chief executive’s decision to leave the top post in July has had a relatively modest impact on the retail chain’s shares which traded down 1.5% in the morning session. The transition from Mike Coupe who initiated the unsuccessful merger between Sainsbury and Asda to a new helmsmen should prove a fairly smooth affair as he is handing over to Simon Roberts, the group’s head of operations.

Hong Kong protests affected the sales of Burberry over Christmas but the group made up for the loss with a 10% increase in sales in mainland China. Still, stocks lost 3.4% after opening Wednesday. 

Sterling waits for trade news 

As Boris Johnson and his ministers prepare to start trade talks with the EU shortly after Brexit the pound is hardly moving, waiting for more decisive news. For the moment sterling remains close to the 1.3 mark to the dollar and 1.090 to the euro.

Build your confidence risk free
Join our live webinars for the latest analysis and trading ideas. Register now

StoneX Financial Ltd (trading as “City Index”) is an execution-only service provider. This material, whether or not it states any opinions, is for general information purposes only and it does not take into account your personal circumstances or objectives. This material has been prepared using the thoughts and opinions of the author and these may change. However, City Index does not plan to provide further updates to any material once published and it is not under any obligation to keep this material up to date. This material is short term in nature and may only relate to facts and circumstances existing at a specific time or day. Nothing in this material is (or should be considered to be) financial, investment, legal, tax or other advice and no reliance should be placed on it.

No opinion given in this material constitutes a recommendation by City Index or the author that any particular investment, security, transaction or investment strategy is suitable for any specific person. The material has not been prepared in accordance with legal requirements designed to promote the independence of investment research. Although City Index is not specifically prevented from dealing before providing this material, City Index does not seek to take advantage of the material prior to its dissemination. This material is not intended for distribution to, or use by, any person in any country or jurisdiction where such distribution or use would be contrary to local law or regulation.

For further details see our full non-independent research disclaimer and quarterly summary.