By Barbara Kollmeyer, MarketWatch
The FTSE 100 sank further into correction territory on Friday, as investors sold equities amid fears over the spread of the coronavirus, with Rolls-Royce Holdings almost the only name in the green.
The index /zigman2/quotes/210598409/delayed UK:UKX -2.10% dropped 3% on Friday, and is now down nearly 11% for the week, the worst weekly performance since the 2008 financial crisis. The FTSE 100 has pushed further into correction territory, defined as a decline of 10% or more from a recent peak, which was 7,877.45 from May 22, 2018. The pound /zigman2/quotes/210561263/realtime/sampled GBPUSD -0.0310% slipped 0.1% to $1.2870.
“There is no sign of widespread bargain hunting by investors despite the cut-price shares on offer. That might not happen until there is a clearer picture of how far and wide coronavirus has spread and how different countries are trying to contain it,” says Russ Mould, investment director at AJ Bell, in a note to clients.
Life insurance, transport, retail, mining, travel and leisure were sectors seeing the biggest losses.
Shares of International Airlines Group /zigman2/quotes/208070069/delayed UK:IAG -8.59% fell 4% after it posted a 40% fall in net profit for 2019 and said it can’t provide guidance for 2020 due to the coronavirus outbreak. EasyJet /zigman2/quotes/202825892/delayed UK:EZJ -5.89% shares recovered from an earlier slump to gain 0.4%, after the budget airliner said it would cut costs and cancel flights as the virus has weighed on demand.
Rolls-Royce Holdings /zigman2/quotes/203646520/delayed UK:RR -8.08% , was a long outperformer, with shares up 5% after the engineering company said 2019 losses narrowed and its underlying profit rose in 2019.
“The outbreak of coronavirus represents a macro risk and is likely to have an impact on air traffic growth in the near term; however long-term growth trends remain intact,” the company said.
Shares of grocer J Sainsbury /zigman2/quotes/206038250/delayed UK:SBRY -0.49% rose 0.4%, another one of the few gainers.