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Market Report: FTSE hits bump in the road ahead of Boris's roadmap to freedom

FTSE 100 made a poor start to the week with all eyes firmly on Boris Johnson’s lockdown speech this evening. London’s blue-chip index fell 53 points to 6,570.

Boris Johnson will unveil his finalised roadmap today with an expected cautious four-point plan to ease the England out of lockdown. Schools are set to reopen on March 8th and up to six people or two households will be allowed to meet outdoors from 29 March.

Boeing has had its 777 aircraft grounded by United Airlines and several Asian carriers after parts of an engine fell onto Denver over the weekend. It is another blow to the plane maker, which has just been cleared to fly its 737-Max jet again after two fatal accidents.  

US firm Allied Universal looks to have won the battle for security group G4S after rival bidder GardaWorld refused to raise its 235p offer. “Priced above 235 pence per share, there are better and less risky opportunities available,” said the Canadian group.  

Among the small caps, Catenae Innovation PLC (LON:CTEA) has been asked to participate in a government initiative to make it quicker and easier for people to verify themselves. The firm has developed a COVID passport system recording whether users have had the virus or the vaccine.  

Chariot Oil & Gas Limited (LON:CHAR) has inked a collaboration agreement with Subsea Integration Alliance for the Anchois development in Morocco. They will take a ‘one team’ approach to fast-track the project to first gas.

Directa Plus PLC (LON:DCTA) has signed a supply agreement and a strategic R&D agreement with NexTech Batteries, a Lithium Sulphur (Li-S) batteries company based in Nevada, US. The graphene-based products producer and supplier said these agreements follow a MOU signed by the pair in October.

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