UK shares retreated on Monday as a surge in global coronavirus cases sparked fears of another lockdown and further economic damage from the COVID-19 pandemic, while Glencore slipped after disclosing a criminal investigation into the company.
London-listed shares of Swiss commodity miner (GLEN.L) fell as much as 5.8% to a three-week low after it said the Office of the Attorney General of Switzerland was investigating it for failure to have measures in place to prevent alleged corruption in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
“The market is caught between fears of a second COVID-19 wave and improving (economic) data,” said Stephen Innes, markets strategist at AxiCorp.
“Financial conditions are easing and the early-June surveys have improved markedly, but with U.S. case counts on the rise, investors remain jittery and probably will until a vaccine is in hand.”
UK stock markets have rebounded since a stunning coronavirus-driven crash in March and are on course to rise for a third straight month as some businesses reopened from a nationwide shutdown.
But the FTSE 100 remains about 18% below its January record high and concerns are growing about more business disruptions from a second wave of infections.
Germany’s coronavirus reproduction rate showed on Sunday infections were rising at a worrying level and the World Health Organization reported a record daily increase in COVID-19 cases. UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson is expected to unveil the latest easing of the country’s coronavirus lockdown on Tuesday.
Outsourcing group Capita Plc (CPI.L) jumped 9.5% to the top of the FTSE 250 after saying late on Friday it would sell its legal process software product Eclipse Legal Systems to Access UK Ltd.