FTSE 100 opens under 4,860 in pre-market on Monday

The UK stock index continues to extend its losses.

UK benchmark FTSE 100 index opened 3.31% lower in pre-market trading hours on Monday 23 March, based on IG trading data.

The Footsie started the week’s proceedings at a market-assessed derivative price estimate of 4,857.2 – nearly 170 points below last week’s closing mark of 5,023.4. This is the benchmark’s lowest level since June 2010.

This latest drop also extends last Thursday 19 March’s ten-year trough of 4,870.4.

The index continues to trade sideways around 4,890 as at 5am GMT.

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UK PM: ‘we need to think about restrictions on movements altogether’

On Sunday 22 March, UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson reiterated the possibility of a full border lockdown in a daily national address regarding the coronavirus pandemic.

‘We need to think about the kinds of measures that we’ve seen elsewhere, other countries that have been forced to bring in restrictions on people’s movements altogether,’ he said.

Johnson further stated that residents are to stop congregating in public and take the government’s guidelines of social distancing seriously, or face the consequence of new, tougher law enforcement measures being introduced.

‘We will think about this very actively in the next 24 hours. If people can’t make use of parks and playgrounds responsibly, in a way that observes the 2-metre rule, then of course we’re going to have to look at further measures,’ he stated.

Earlier that day, the Hammersmith and Fulham council said they will close local parks from Sunday night, while the Royal Parks charity – which operates Hyde, Regent's and St James' Parks, are closing kiosks and cafes located on the grounds of seven of its parks.

Royal Parks also warned that ‘if people do not follow social distancing guidelines’, it will have to ‘consider closing the parks’.

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FTSE 100 sunk to 10-year low in pre-market

Last Thursday 19 March, the FTSE 100 sunk to a 10-year low in pre-market trading, hours after the European Central Bank (ECB) announced that it would spend €750 billion to buy back bonds in a bid to stimulate the economy, in a so-called Pandemic Emergency Purchase Programme.

The pound also weakened to its lowest level since 1985 – the GBP/USD hit 1.14844 at 2am GMT on 19 March. This was also lower than the levels achieved during Brexit.

News of the stimulus had also done little to appease the European markets, with European benchmark Stoxx closing down 4% and Germany’s DAX Performance Index losing 5.56% to end the day.

Across the week of 16 March to 20 March, the FTSE 100 index lost as many as 663 points, equating to nearly 12% in price.

Since the start of 2020, equities that have experienced the biggest depreciation are: fashion retailer Next (-43.42%), hotel and restaurant operator Whitbread (-35.55%), InterContinental Hotels Group (-36.18%), and cruise operator Carnival (-32%).

Read also: FTSE 100 futures point to possible Friday recovery for index

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