UK shares climb on hopes of lockdown easing, Novacyt soars


London-listed shares joined a global rally on Monday as signs of an easing in the coronavirus outbreak raised hopes that a month-long lockdown would be relaxed, while diagnostics firm Novacyt surged on news of a supply contract with the UK government.

The clinical diagnostics company (NCYT.L) jumped 12.2% after saying it would supply its coronavirus testing kits to the UK’s Department of Health & Social Care for an initial period of six months starting next week.

The domestically-focussed midcap index .FTMC rose 1.9%, as Prime Minister Boris Johnson returned to Downing Street almost a month after he was diagnosed with COVID-19, with a report saying he could announce plans to ease the lockdown as early as this week.

The commodity-heavy FTSE 100 .FTSE also added 1.5%, with the financials and industrials sectors providing the biggest boost.

Holiday Inn-owner InterContinental Hotels (IHG.L) said it had agreed changes to the terms of its borrowing and made use of UK government supported loans as it predicted a 25% plunge in global revenue per available room in the first quarter. Its shares rose 4.1%.