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FTSE 100 down as PM unveils cautious plan to ease restrictions

With an hour to go before the close of play on Tuesday, the FTSE 100 dipped by half a percent to 6,575.25.

“Although the headline FTSE indices did not move much, there was a great deal of violent movement below the apparently calm surface,” said Russ Mould, investment director at AJ Bell.

Having snuck above the 6,600 mark yesterday the index retreated after Boris Johnson’s speech failed to capture the imagination of investors. However, the announcement by the Prime Minister did provide a timeframe for investors. 

“The key dates see schools reopen on March 8, with the ‘rule of six’ from March 29, the reopening of non-essential retail from April 12, indoor restaurants from May 17, and something approaching pre-covid normality from June 21,” said Connor Campbell, financial analyst at Spreadex.

HSBC and IHG announced financial results for 2020, while bitcoin has fallen by over 10% in the last 24 hours following a tweet by Elon Musk.

FTSE 100 movers

The day’s top risers on the index were British Land Co (4.89%), Land Securities Group (4.65%) and Informa (4.17%).

At the bottom of the FTSE 100, Scottish Mortgage Investment Trust (-7.89%), Evraz (-4.66%) and Avast (-4.55%) saw significant falls in their valuations on Tuesday.

HSBC

HSBC (LON:HSBA) announced a fall of 43% in profit for 2020 as its global operations were hit by the pandemic. The FTSE 100 bank is looking to expand further into Asia, “by far the most profitable region” for HSBC, outlining plans to invest around $6bn.

IHG

IHG (Intercontinental Hotels Group) (LON:IHG) has swung to a loss in an unsurprisingly challenging year for the business. The group’s total revenue was $2.39bn, a fall of 48% compared to a year before. The FTSE 100 hospitality company posted an operating loss of $153m, having made a $630m profit in 2019.

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