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Flu fears continue to plague FTSE

Swine flu fears continue to weigh on London equities for a second day with the FTSE 100 opening lower at 4,125 on its previous close of 4,167.

By 9.25am, the index was down 1.9 per cent to 4,088 with airline and travel stocks extending yesterday’s losses. British Airways lost 5 per cent to 143.60p and Thomas Cook was down 2.8 per cent to 262.75p.

Meanwhile, insurers were down following a big headline Q1 sales miss from Friends Provident which reported a 40 per cent year-on-year decline.

Friends Provident lost 8.35 per cent to 57.10p, Legal & General lost 4.2 per cent to 49.80p, Prudential dropped 2.9 per cent to 358.25p and Standard Life was down 3.9 per cent to 187.50p.

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