The FTSE 100 sank on Thursday as the recent rally began to unwind on fears of a second wave of coronavirus and poor economic forecasts from the Federal Reserve.
The FTSE 100 was down over 3% to 6,132 in afternoon trade on Thursday.
The selling added to a poor week for the FTSE 100 which has seen the index retreat from 6,500 amid concerns the market has not properly understood the longer term impact of coronavirus.
“There was no shaking the atmosphere of anxiety that has come to grip the markets this week, with Europe’s losses remaining at the nasty end of the spectrum,’ said Connor Campbell, Analyst at Spreadex.
“With dire forecasts from both the OECD and the Federal Reserve, and fears that a second wave of coronavirus cases is emerging in the USA, the markets have spent the week being dealt one reality check after another.”
These concerns were amplified by the news an number of US states had experienced an increase in the number of coronavirus cases.
Texas and Florida were among those that had seen a rise in the number of cases, however, commentators pointed out that these were states that had never really taken the lockdown seriously.
“The market has been rallying because they’re looking to 2021 and saying we’re going to get past this and then things will get sort of back to normal,” said Sean O’Hara, president of Pacer ETF Distributors to Reuters.
“One thing that really could change the trajectory here would be if we have a big bounce in a second wave. That’s the big fear.”
In London, the travel shares led the way down with Carnival and International Consolidated Airlines falling 15% and 9% respectively.
Ocado was also weaker after it raised a £1 billion war chest to exploit the shift in grocery shopping habits during the coronavirus lockdown. The online delivery services said the funds would be allocated to their partner programme and an increase in capacity. Ocado shares were down 5.5% in mid afternoon trade.