FTSE 100: Stock markets fall as oil prices tumble amid fears of new lockdowns

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The FTSE 100 fell after opening on Friday as oil prices tumbled on signs of lower demand in China and renewed fears of lockdowns in Europe.

The index fell 1 per cent before rebounding to trade 0.6 per cent down at 6,743.07. BP and Royal Dutch Shell – two of the index’s biggest constituents – were down 2 per cent and 1.3 per cent respectively.

European stock markets went into the red as concerns grew about a slow vaccine rollout and additional coronavirus restrictions. The pan-European STOXX 600 fell 0.6 per cent and France’s CAC 40 was down 0.7 per cent as a new four-week lockdown was due to begin in 16 regions with rising numbers of Covid-19 cases. Much of Italy also entered a new lockdown earlier this week.

Asian stocks fell and Wall Street‘s benchmark S&P 500 index closed down 1.5 per cent overnight.

It came a day after the S&P 500 hit a new record high on the back of reassurances from the Federal Reserve that it would keep its key interest rate close to zero.

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