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UPDATE 1-FTSE flat, mid caps hit as PM readies new restrictions

Tue, 22nd Sep 2020 09:48

(For a live blog on European stocks, type LIVE/ in an Eikon
news window)

* Johnson to announce new lockdown restrictions

* Whitbread falls on announcing job cuts

* Beazley sees COVID-19 insurance claims doubling

* FTSE 100 up 0.03%, FTSE 250 drops 0.7%
(Updates price, adds comment)

Sept 22 (Reuters) - London's FTSE 100 struggled to recover
from its worst sell-off in three months on Tuesday, and
domestically-focused mid-cap stocks fell, as investors awaited
details of new curbs that will deliver another blow to Britain's
coronavirus-weakened economy.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson is expected to tell people to
work from home and impose new restrictions on pubs, bars and
restaurants in an attempt to tackle a swiftly accelerating
second wave of the COVID-19 outbreak.

The mid-cap index fell another 0.7% in early deals
while blue-chip FTSE 100 index was flat to marginally
higher, failing to take back any of an almost 3.5% loss on
Monday that was its worst since June 11.

"The domestic mid-cap index is bearing the effect of
investor risk averseness as they factor in the possibility of
nationwide lockdown due to the coronavirus situation," said
Andrea Cicione, a strategist at T.S. Lombard.

There was some support for the FTSE 100, he said, from a
stronger dollar, which raises effective revenues for many of the
index's multinationals, as well as from a bounce in U.S.
technology stocks at the end of Wall Street's session on Monday.

Insurers were the biggest losers after Beazley
said it expects coronavirus related claims to double to
$340 million, chiefly due to the cancellation of events in the
wake of further spikes in infections.

Premier Inn-owner Whitbread fell 3.3% after it said
it could cut up to 6,000 jobs in its hotel and restaurant
business as it expects demand to remain at lower levels in the
short to medium term.

British American Tobacco rose 2.9% after brokerage
house RBC raised its rating to outperform.
(Reporting by Shashank Nayar in Bengaluru; Editing by
Subhranshu Sahu and Patrick Graham)

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