UK stock markets to watch on 21 December

Britain’s FTSE 100 futures index (FFIc1) was down 0.86% on Monday.

AstraZeneca: Malaysia said on Saturday it has secured coronavirus vaccine from AstraZeneca Plc (AZN.L), on the heels of news it will receive the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine in February as it grapples with a surge in infections.

Royal Dutch Shell: Shell (RDSa.L) said it has agreed to sell a 26.25% stake in its Queensland Curtis LNG (QCLNG) facilities to Global Infrastructure Partners Australia for $2.5 billion, helping the oil major meet its annual target for divestments.

Royal Mail: Royal Mail Plc (RMG.L) said on Friday it has reached an in-principle agreement with its largest labour union, the Communication Workers Union (CWU), over company strategy, operational change and pay.

Metro Banks: Britain’s Metro Bank Plc (MTRO.L) said on Friday it will sell a portfolio of owner-occupied residential mortgages to NatWest Group Plc (NWG.L) for up to 3.13 billion pounds ($4.23 billion), as it looks to boost its capital levels hit by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Gold: Gold climbed to a six-week high, driven by news that U.S. congressional leaders reached agreement on a COVID-19 aid package, while lockdowns in the United Kingdom soured appetite for riskier assets and added to the metal’s support.

Oil: Oil prices dropped about 3% as a fast-spreading new coronavirus strain that has shut down much of the United Kingdom fuelled worries over a slower recovery in fuel demand amid tighter restrictions in Europe.

The UK blue-chip index (.FTSE) closed 0.3% lower on Friday as U.S. stocks dipped on a cooling fiscal stimulus-led rally GBP.

The domestically focused FTSE 250 (.FTMC), considered a barometer for Brexit sentiment, dropped about 0.9%, but finished the last full week of the year up 2.5%.

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