By Steve Goldstein, MarketWatch
U.K. stocks dropped sharply on Monday, as concerns about coronavirus cases picking up again offset the crowds that greeted retailers that reopened for business.
The FTSE 100 (FTSE:UK:UKX) traded 1% lower, joining other European markets in the red. Signs that new cases are mounting in several key U.S. states, as well as a new outbreak in China, weighed on markets.
The losses came on the first day that England allowed so-called nonessential retailers to open.
Oil major BP (LON:UK:BP) dropped 4%, as it said it was taking up to $17.5 billion in charges as it lowers its assumptions for the fossil fuels it sells. The oil giant said its new assumptions are “broadly” in line with Paris carbon emission goals, as the company said it seeks to be net-zero on emissions by 2050.
Miners also dropped, with Fresnillo (LON:UK:FRES) shares losing 5% and Anglo American (LON:UK:AAL) falling 4%.
AstraZeneca (LON:UK:AZN) rose 1.1%, as the drugmaker said it has agreed to supply Europe with up to 400 million doses of the University of Oxford’s COVID-19 vaccine.
Bunzl Group (LON:UK:BNZL) shot up 6%, as the international distribution and services firm said fiscal first-half revenue will rise 6%.