London stocks slipped on Friday and looked set to post their first weekly loss for the month, as doubts over the efficacy of AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine and concerns over a post-Brexit trade deal with the European Union weighed on sentiment.
The blue-chip FTSE 100 index fell 0.6%, while the domestically focussed mid-cap FTSE 250 lost 0.3%, with travel and leisure, aero and energy stocks among the biggest decliners.
A Bloomberg report said AstraZeneca Plc was likely to run an additional global trial to assess the efficacy of its COVID-19 vaccine using a lower dosage, amid questions over the results of its late-stage study. Shares of the drugmaker were down 0.7%.
On the Brexit front, sources told Reuters that EU assessments of whether to grant market access for UK banks would not be completed in time for January, as the estranged allies make a final push for a free trade deal.
(Reporting by Devik Jain in Bengaluru; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu)