The FTSE 100 dropped on Friday and was set to record its worst week since October as stalled vaccine rollouts and lockdowns to curb the spread of contagious new coronavirus strains kept investors from jumping into riskier assets.
The bluechip FTSE 100 index dropped 1.7, with energy and mining stocks being top drags for the week, while the midcap index fell 1.3.
The benchmark indices were also set to fall for the month, with the midcap index set to record its worst monthly loss since September.
Drugmaker AstraZeneca fell 3.6 for the week and was one of the top drags on the bluechip index as a tussle with the European Union on vaccine rollouts continued to weigh on the stock.
The European Unions contract with AstraZeneca for its COVID19 vaccine contains binding orders, EU Commision Head Ursula von der Leyen said, demanding a plausible explanation from the drugmaker for delivery holdups.
British online fashion retailer Boohoo fell 1.5 after it confirmed on Friday it was in exclusive talks with the administrators of Philip Greens collapsed Arcadia group over the purchase of the Dorothy Perkins, Wallis and Burton brands.
Reporting by Shashank Nayar in Bengaluru; Editing by Bernard Orr