FTSE 100 plunges | pub staff join Wetherspoon board
REFRESH PAGE FOR UPDATES
4.30pm: Market closes down
The FTSE 100 was set to close 74.14 points down at 7,195.78 as the UK Cabinet met to consider the next move in tackling Omicron.
8.30am: Agency deal
Lomond Group has become the largest lettings and estate agent in Scotland after confirming its acquisition of DJ Alexander.
8.05am: Footsie plunges
The FTSE 100 opened 128.44 points (1.77%) lower at 7,141.48 as predicted amid growing concern over the impact of Omicron on the economy.
7am: Wetherspoon employee board hires
JD Wetherspoon has appointed four employee directors after deciding the company would benefit from having more pub experience at board level.
The four have been chosen from more than a hundred applications.
Two are appointed employee directors with full plc director status, and two as associate employee directors.
The appointments are effective from today for an initial three-year term.
7am: Qatar backs Rolls-Royce nuclear plan
Qatar’s sovereign Wealth Fund is investing £85m in Rolls-Royce Group’s plan to build mini-nuclear power hubs.
A single power station will occupy around one tenth of the size of a conventional nuclear generation site and power approximately one million homes.
Qatar Investment Authority will join Rolls-Royce Group, BNF Resources UK Ltd and Exelon Generation as shareholders in Rolls-Royce SMR, taking a 10% share of the equity.
Alarm over the rapid spread of the Omicron variant of Covid is expected to drag markets down sharply amid concern over it impact on the world economy. The FTSE 100 was called more than 100 points lower.
Lockdowns and early closures of hospitality venues across Europe are expected to see further restrictions in the UK which is seeing record cases of Covid.
The Netherlands has announced a fresh lockdown, while France and Germany are imposing bans on arrivals from the UK nationals. All bars, restaurants, and cinemas in Ireland must close by 8 pm.
The Nikkei in Japan slumped 2.13% while South Korea’s Kospi declined 181.%.
China’s Shanghai Composite slipped 1.04% and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index fell 2%.