FTSE 100 hits 2-month low; Wall Street crashes, Moderna slips 7%

US Markets: Wall Street extended the losses after opening lower on Tuesday, 30 November, as Covid-related worries kept the jittery alive with the market participating trying to ascertain the potential damage on the back of Omicron variant of Covid-19 (SARS-CoV-2) virus. All the three major averages declined more than 1.5% with the tech leader Nasdaq Composite leading the losses, Dow Industrials and the wider share barometer S&P 500 oscillated in a largely similar manner.

The three American majors witnessing similar collapse apparently indicates the pessimistic view of investors as repeated disruptions due to renewed pandemic challenges can categorically delay the estimated time of economic recovery. The largest of the economies are taking counter-protective steps to curb the rising spread of Omicron variant, including reimposition of border control measures, social distancing mandates and other pandemic restrictions.

Omicron Fears drag Global Markets | ASX to Open Lower | Top Global News


Investors have also turned cautious as US Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell, alongside the Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen are slated to testify before Congress on Tuesday. The central authorities are examining the prospective impact of the new variant on the employment landscape, different industries, cross-border trade, healthcare facilities, hospitality industry, the already struggling automobile sector and other business areas. 

The Dow Jones Industrial Average crashed as much as 615.62 points, or 1.75% to 34,520.32, the technology heavy Nasdaq Composite slipped 299.14 points, or 1.90% to 15,483.69, whereas the broader barometer S&P 500 collapsed 85.90 points, or 1.85% to 4,569.37. These are the lowest levels for all the three major indices in the last one-and-half-month period.

US Market News: Shares of Coca Cola, Salesforce and Dow were the biggest laggards among the 30 components of Dow Jones Industrial Average on Tuesday. Other major decliners include Travelers Companies, Walt Disney, Honeywell International, McDonald’s, American Express, Verizon, 3M, J&J, Intel, UnitedHealth Group, JPMorgan Chase, Visa, P&G, Boeing, Caterpillar, Walmart, Walgreens Boots Alliance, Goldman Sachs, Cisco Systems and Merck & Co slipped 1-3%.

The heavyweight shares of Apple only managed to oscillate in positive territory amid the Dow components with the stock advancing more than 2%. Alongside Apple, shares of Tesla and CrowStrike Holdings, Vertex Pharmaceuticals, DocuSign and Trip.com partly supported Nasdaq Composite.

On the other hand, shares of Moderna slipped more than 7% after registering sharp gains in the previous sessions. The stock of the vaccine maker advanced nearly 35% in just two sessions. Shares of Dollar Tree, T Mobile US, Intuit, Ross Stores, JD.com, Kraft Heinz, Match Group, Cadence Design System, eBay, Comcast, Nvidia, Pinduoduo, Facebook, Activision Blizzard, Peloton Interactive, Twenty-First Century Fox, Synopsis and Marriott International shed 2-5%, effectively dragging the market index deeper into the losses.


UK Markets: After staging a sharp recovery from the intraday bottom, the domestic benchmark FTSE 100 ended 50 points lower from the previous close. The market index touched an intraday low of 6,989.66 on Tuesday, the lowest level in the last two months. Earlier on 1 October 2021, the index made a low of 6,989.64.

During the session, the index gained 106 points, or 1.51% to 7,104.73 from the morning low of 6,998.73 before terminating 50.50 points, or 0.71% down at 7,059.45. Meanwhile, the mid-cap reflector FTSE 250 dropped 236.61 points, or 1.04% to 22,519.72, after hitting an intraday bottom of 22,453.56.

The top three shares by market capitalisation on the FTSE 100 shed 0.60% to 1.60% with the stock of AstraZeneca and Unilever providing the major negative points to the index.

Market Snapshot

Top 3 volume leaders: Lloyds Banking Group, Vodafone and BP

Top 3 sectoral indices: Precious Metals, Banking and Industrial Metals

Bottom 3 sectoral indices: Consumer Services, Finance Services and Travel

Crude oil prices: Brent crude down 6.87% at $68.63/barrel; US WTI crude down 6.36% at $65.50/barrel

Gold prices: An ounce of gold traded at $1,774.70, down 0.58%

Exchange rate: GBP vs USD - 1.3260, down 0.38% | GBP vs EUR - 1.1729, down 0.50%

Bond yields: US 10-Year Treasury yield - 1.458% | UK 10-Year Government Bond yield - 0.8190%

Markets @ 16:35 GMT

Regional market performance on 30 November, 2021