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April 20, 2020, 12:01 p.m. EDT

FTSE 100 kicks off the week with a struggle as oil companies drop

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By Barbara Kollmeyer, MarketWatch


AFP via Getty Images
The Union flag flutters in the breeze on top of the Victoria Tower, part of the Palace of Westminster as boats are seen moored on the River Thames in central London on April 20 during the novel coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic.

U.K. stocks gave up a stronger lead at the start of Monday to struggle into the afternoon, with the downside led by oil companies as crude prices fell sharply.

After last week’s nearly 1% drop, the FTSE 100 index /zigman2/quotes/210598409/delayed UK:UKX +1.55%  was flat at 5,784.20, while the British pound /zigman2/quotes/210561263/realtime/sampled GBPUSD +0.0150%  dropped 0.4% to $1.2447.

“The index is starting to look pretty rangebound after rallying hard off the lows. Direction will start to come as we get a clearer estimate of the economic damage, how quick the recover is and whether the stimulus efforts have prevented a 1930s-like depression,” said Neil Wilson, chief market analyst at Markets.com.

Read: Startups handed £1.25 billion lifeline by U.K. government in struggle against coronavirus

Monday saw most global equities take a step back, with U.S. equities down over 1% in early trading as investors weighed up economic restarts in some countries and oil prices took another dive lower.

U.S. crude for May delivery   /zigman2/quotes/211629951/delayed CL.1 +0.60%  slid 40% to $10.93 a barrel, a decline that if it holds, would mark the biggest single-session drop in history. That contract expires Tuesday, and the most-active June slid 9% to $22.78 a barrel, while Brent crude for June delivery , fell 5% to $26.80 a barrel. At issue is a glut of production, with dwindling storage possibilities and demand that’s been crushed by the coronavirus shutdown.

Shares of BP PLC /zigman2/quotes/202286639/delayed UK:BP +8.42%  fell nearly 1%. Mining companies were also lower in the commodity space with BHP PLC /zigman2/quotes/203323256/delayed UK:BHP +5.84%  down 1% and Anglo American PLC /zigman2/quotes/201381512/delayed UK:AAL +5.60%  dropping 2%.

Airlines and retailers were also under some pressure, with easyJet PLC /zigman2/quotes/202825892/delayed UK:EZJ +7.78%  down 3.6%, International Consolidated Airlines Group PLC /zigman2/quotes/208070069/delayed UK:IAG +2.40%  sliding nearly 4%, while J. Sainsbury PLC /zigman2/quotes/206038250/delayed UK:SBRY +2.28%  fell 3% and Tesco PLC /zigman2/quotes/203761082/delayed UK:TSCO -0.31%  was down nearly 2%.



/zigman2/quotes/210598409/delayed
UK : FTSE UK
6,432.17
+98.33 +1.55%
Volume: 1.26M
Nov. 24, 2020 4:59p
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/zigman2/quotes/210561263/realtime/sampled
US : Tullett Prebon
1.3365
+0.0002 +0.0150%
Volume: 0.0000
Nov. 25, 2020 2:29a
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/211629951/delayed
US : U.S.: Nymex
$ 45.18
+0.27 +0.60%
Volume: 58,572
Nov. 25, 2020 2:19a
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/202286639/delayed
UK : U.K.: London
274.80 p
+21.35 +8.42%
Volume: 90.67M
Nov. 24, 2020 4:35p
P/E Ratio
N/A
Dividend Yield
5.72%
Market Cap
£50.96 billion
Rev. per Employee
£3.11M
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/203323256/delayed
UK : U.K.: London
1,780.80 p
+98.20 +5.84%
Volume: 7.30M
Nov. 24, 2020 4:35p
P/E Ratio
14.28
Dividend Yield
5.15%
Market Cap
£95.31 billion
Rev. per Employee
N/A
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/201381512/delayed
UK : U.K.: London
2,311.50 p
+122.50 +5.60%
Volume: 4.32M
Nov. 24, 2020 4:35p
P/E Ratio
17.30
Dividend Yield
2.43%
Market Cap
£27.01 billion
Rev. per Employee
N/A
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/202825892/delayed
UK : U.K.: London
840.00 p
+60.60 +7.78%
Volume: 7.65M
Nov. 24, 2020 4:35p
P/E Ratio
N/A
Dividend Yield
0.00%
Market Cap
£3.54 billion
Rev. per Employee
£214,929
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/208070069/delayed
UK : U.K.: London
170.50 p
+4.00 +2.40%
Volume: 75.13M
Nov. 24, 2020 4:35p
P/E Ratio
N/A
Dividend Yield
6.13%
Market Cap
£8.27 billion
Rev. per Employee
N/A
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/206038250/delayed
UK : U.K.: London
219.90 p
+4.90 +2.28%
Volume: 9.38M
Nov. 24, 2020 4:35p
P/E Ratio
N/A
Dividend Yield
4.77%
Market Cap
£4.77 billion
Rev. per Employee
N/A
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/203761082/delayed
UK : U.K.: London
227.10 p
-0.70 -0.31%
Volume: 19.37M
Nov. 24, 2020 4:35p
P/E Ratio
20.06
Dividend Yield
4.27%
Market Cap
£22.31 billion
Rev. per Employee
£157,770
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Barbara Kollmeyer is an editor for MarketWatch in Madrid. Follow her on Twitter @bkollmeyer.

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