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Vaccine row helps sink stocks with FTSE more than 1% lower

Wed, 27th Jan 2021

The FTSE 100 traded down 1.2% by the close at 6,571.27 as the row over vaccine supplies from AstraZeneca into the EU continued. The sceptre of vaccine nationalism and potential blocks on the exports of vaccines from the EU helped spook investors with other European markets heavily in the red. US stocks fell too, with the S&P 500 down 1.4% to 3,794.76 by 4.30pm UK time with a lot of focus on the latest US Federal Reserve decision on monetary policy due later. Bucking this trend were a number of heavily shorted stocks including GameStop, now up a remarkable 1,677% in the space of a month but also cinema operator AMC Entertainment. These names have seemingly been targeted by a group of investors on Reddit looking to set up a short squeeze on the hedge funds betting against them. Shorted stocks in the UK also seemed to be in demand, though to a lesser extent, with academic publisher Pearson up 10.8% to 843.6p and Cineworld rising 9.5% to 80.1p Gold and silver miner Fresnillo reversed 12.2% to 933.2p after it forecast lower production for 2021, citing Covid-19 uncertainty and operational challenges in Mexico. Wealth management company Brewin Dolphin added 3.5% to 306.5p after it reported a 7% rise in fourth-quarter revenue, driven by a positive market performance and high commissions. Oil producer Tullow Oil dropped 11.3% to 27.7p on guiding for lower operating earnings for 2020 and another drop in output for 2021. Tullow Oil also said it had started discussions with its creditors with regards to its debt refinancing options. Rival oil company Diversified Gas & Oil gained 0.9% to 115.2p as it reported an 18% rise in annual output that it said helped its 2020 results meet market expectations. IT professional services provider FDM fell 1.6% to £10.03 after it cut its final dividend amid a fall in annual earnings and revenue. FDM declared a final dividend of 13p per share, down from 18.5p year-on-year, bringing total payouts for the year to 31.5p, down from 34.5p in 2019. Home repairs and improvements business HomeServe was up 1.7% to £10.98 on announcing the appointment Tommy Breen as chairman designate, to succeed Barry Gibson. Breen, a former chief executive of Irish marketing group DCC, will become chairman on 19 May. Furniture retailer ScS was up 2.4% to 215p as it announced that its first-half gross sales had risen 14%, due to significant order intake following the end of the UK's first national Covid lockdown last year. ScS's order intake, however, had slumped in more recent weeks due to store closures linked to the country's third lockdown. Agricultural product supplier Wynnstay gained 2.5% to 374p as it reported a 7.5% fall in annual profit, after sales were hit by lower commodity prices amid the pandemic. Wynnstay, however, increased its full-year dividend 4.3% to 14.6p per share after underlying earnings were boosted by lower spending. Story provided by StockMarketWire.com

FTSE 100 Latest
Value6,630.52
Change-20.36