Oct 26 Reuters Londons FTSE 100 pared early losses on Monday as a surge in banks following a report that the central bank was considering allowing dividend payments again helped offset losses in energy and mining stocks due to weak commodity prices.
Shares in Barclays, HSBC and Lloyds Banking Group rose about 0.5 after The Times newspaper reported the Bank of England BoE and commercial banks are bartering a deal to allow banks to make shareholder payouts.
Having declined as much as 1.3 in early trading, the FTSE 100 index was down 0.3, while the domesticallyfocussed midcap FTSE 250 index lost 0.2 as travel and leisure and industrial stocks fell.
European markets were broadly weighed down by fears that a resurgence in coronavirus cases would hamper economic recovery as the government tightens restrictions on activity.
Theres fear that we get a long winter of restrictions across Europe that hobbles consumer demand and investor confidence, said Neil Wilson, chief market analyst for Markets.com.
After a stimulusbacked sharp rally from pandemic lows, the FTSE 100 has been trading in tight ranges since June due to Brexitrelated uncertainty and concerns over coronavirus curbs.
AstraZeneca Plc rose 1.0 after the drugmaker resumed the U.S. trial of its experimental COVID19 vaccine and said the vaccine being developed by the University of Oxford produced a similar immune response in both older and younger adults.
The wider sectoral index added 0.9.