The slow drift of the FTSE 100 continues. Once again the optimism generated by the vaccine breakthroughs at the end of 2020 is colliding with the reality of inoculating populations and dealing with the new variants of Covid-19.
“The uneven nature of the vaccine rollout always made restrictions on travel a risk and it is one which is rapidly coming to fruition while the more infectious strains of coronavirus also mean caution at the border as well as with loosening lockdown – with all the economic damage that implies,” AJ Bell said.
“So it’s not too surprising another reasonably promising start for the index quickly ebbed away despite a positive session for stocks in Asia, with UK stocks trading a smidge lower after the opening half hour of trading.
“There was some news for investors to cheer as Tesco confirmed plans for a special dividend after the sale of its Thai and Malaysian businesses amounting to nearly £5 billion.
“The supermarket cleared the way for the payout by repaying business rates relief. It will be interesting to see what those businesses who were in receipt of state support and have been unwilling or unable to repay do in terms of dividends going forward.”