Some of the gloom lifted on FTSE 100 trading as investors mulled uncertainty over more massive job losses in America and the extension of the UK’s coronavirus lockdown.
The FTSE100 ended the day 0.55% up at 5628.43, with the FTSE 250 a little weaker at 0.2% up to 15378.57.
But Sterling suffered a setback, falling 0.83% against the US Dollar to $1.24 and 0.11 against the Euro to €1.14.
Trading in The City ended a short while before Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab announced the three-week lockdown extension at the daily Downing Street briefing.
However, he avoided giving a timeframe for lifting the measures nor the options under consideration.
Don’t give coronavirus a second chance, says Raab
“Now is not the moment to give the coronavirus a second chance,” he said.
The market was also weighed by data from the USA that another 5.2 million workers filed unemployment claims – boosting the total to around 21 million.
“The FTSE 100 has still not clawed back all its losses from yesterday, with weak commodity prices keeping the index in check, but some comfort can be taken from the fact we are not seeing the sort of nerve-shredding moves in markets posted in mid to late March,” said Russ Mould, investment director at fund and pensions platform AJ Bell.
“US jobless claims figures might test investors’ appetite for risk later as a coronavirus-inspired unemployment crisis continues to brew across the Atlantic.”
Mixed fortunes on global markets
Early afternoon trading in New York saw the Dow Jones slip 0.4% to 23409.05 and the NASDAQ rise 1.75% to 8741.27. Further north, the S&P 500 in Chicago was up 0.23% to 2789.95.
Around the global markets, the Paris CAC 40 was down 0.08% to 4350.16; the Frankfurt DAX rose 0.21% to 10301.54; the Euro Stoxx climbed 0.15% to 2812.35, while Madrid’s IBEX dropped 1.11% to 6763.40.
In Asia, the Hang Seng in Hong Kong closed at 24,006.45, sliding 0.58% and in Tokyo, the Nikkei dropped 1.33% to 19290.20.
On the commodity markets, gold ended at $1,718.65 an ounce – a fall of 1.33%.
A barrel of Brent crude plunged another 6.45% to $27.69.