UPDATE 2-British shares fall on virus risks; Persimmon tumbles

Reuters

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markets, click LIVE/ or type LIVE/ in a news window)
    * Persimmon falls on lower revenue, COVID-19 restrictions
weigh
    * Countries across Europe announce tighter, longer lockdowns
    * Fashion retailer ASOS jumps on full-year profit forecast
    * FTSE 100 down 0.1%, FTSE 250 falls 0.5%

 (Updates to close)
    By Shashank Nayar
    Jan 13 (Reuters) - London listed shares fell on Wednesday,
as rising coronavirus cases and fresh lockdowns imposed across
Europe raised caution about the near-term effects on the
economy.
    The blue-chip FTSE 100 index  .FTSE  dropped 0.1%, while the
mid-cap FTSE 250 index  .FTMC  fell 0.5%.
    Governments across Europe announced tighter and longer
coronavirus lockdowns and curbs amid fears of a fast-spreading
variant first detected in Britain, with vaccinations not
expected to help much until the spring.  urn:newsml:reuters.com:*:nL8N2JO36E
    "Investors are still wondering where the next big catalyst
for further upside will come from, and are painfully aware that
the COVID-19 crisis remains untamed despite the introduction of
vaccination programmes," said Chris Beauchamp, chief market
analyst at IG.
    The FTSE 100 has recorded consistent monthly gains since
November, supported by hopes of a vaccine-led economic recovery,
but it has recently lost steam as a wave of coronavirus
infections sparked new business restrictions.
    Housebuilder Persimmon  PSN.L  dropped 6.2% and fell the
most on the FTSE 100 index after it reported a 9% fall in 2020
revenue and flagged risks to its construction sites from the
fast-spreading new variant of COVID-19.  L4N2JO1QD 
    "The slide probably reflects investors' concerns over the
current state of the pandemic and how it could impact near-term
demand...," says Russ Mould, AJ Bell Investment Director.
    However, deliveries of COVID-19 vaccines to Britain are on
track and sufficient to meet the government's vaccination
targets, Health Secretary Matt Hancock said, although he
declined to give figures on supplies. urn:newsml:reuters.com:*:nS8N2DU0AH
    Global recruiter PageGroup  PAGE.L  fell 2.8% after it
posted a 20% drop in fourth-quarter gross profit, while fashion
retailer ASOS  ASOS.L  jumped 2% on forecasting a full-year
profit after Christmas trading surpassed its
expectations. urn:newsml:reuters.com:*:nL4N2JO1O9  urn:newsml:reuters.com:*:nL8N2JO19I

 (Reporting by Shashank Nayar in Bengaluru; Editing by
Uttaresh.V and Alex Richardson)
 ((Shashank.Nayar@thomsonreuters.com; within U.S. +1 646 223
8780; outside U.S. +91 80 6182 2256;))
 
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