London's main index jumped on Friday as nerves eased after the World Health Organisation issued a measured assessment of the new coronavirus in China, while midcap-listed payments group Finablr tumbled.
UK shares lost roughly 1% as worries over the spread of a new flu-like virus from China forced dealers to dump risky assets, while financial stocks tumbled across the board after the European Central Bank kept interest rates at a record low level.
London's FTSE 100 recorded its longest losing streak since early December as a strengthening in sterling triggered by strong manufacturing sentiment data weighed on dollar earners, while travel group TUI slid on more Boeing woes.
Underwhelming trading updates from Pearson and Whitbread broke a three-day winning run for London's main index on Thursday, while investors exercised caution amid a lack of clarity on some elements of the U.S.-China trade deal.
Premier Inn owner Whitbread reported a 2.2% fall in UK like-for-like sales year to date on Thursday, cautioning clarity on Brexit following a decisive British election last month had yet to deliver a bounce in business bookings.
London's main share index rose slightly on Wednesday, hours before the sealing of an initial U.S.-China trade deal, though sentiment was tempered when Washington said tariffs on Chinese goods would not be rolled back immediately.
London's main index ended a choppy Tuesday session with slight gains, as investors looked towards the signing of the Phase 1 U.S.-China trade deal, while betting firms lost ground after Britain banned consumers from using credit cards to gamble.
Taylor Wimpey's order book jumped 22% in 2019 to 2.18 billion pounds ($2.83 billion), the housebuilder said on Tuesday, aided by the government's Help to Buy scheme, and said it saw positive signs in 2020.
London's main stock index gained on Monday, in step with global peers, as investors took heart from the imminent signing of a Phase 1 U.S.-China trade deal, while hopes of further interest rate cuts by the Bank of England helped the midcaps outperform.
British bluechips shed early gains on Friday as a slide in banks overshadowed a rise in airlines amid fears of a rate cut.