StockMarketWire.com - London's FTSE 100 struggled to make headway on Monday, creeping into the red by the close on news the coronavirus vaccine developed by Oxford University, and to be manufactured by pharmaceutical giant AstraZeneca, has been shown to be 70% effective in protecting people against Covid-19.

This effectiveness is less than the 95% protection shown by the Moderna and Pfizer/BioNTech vaccines, which explained the 3.3% decline in AstraZeneca's share price to £80.40 after a strong run, though this vaccine is a lot cheaper to produce than the other two, and is easier to store, meaning it can be distributed more widely across the world.

Also weighing on sentiment was general anxiety about the lockdown measures Boris Johnson was set to announce later in the evening.

The blue chip benchmark ended the session 0.28% lower at 6,333.84 points.

Pub stocks rallied after news emerged over the weekend that Boris Johnson is likely to lift lockdown measures and allow venues to reopen.

Mitchells and Butlers jumped 7.1% to 233.5p, Marstons rose 3.7% to 70.90p and Youngs gained 4.8% to £12, while JD Wetherspoon moved 2.8% higher to £11.

Meanwhile in company news, insurance company Aviva gained 2.1% to 324.6p, having agreed to sell its 80% stake in the Italian life insurance joint venture Aviva Vita to partner UBI Banca for €400m.

Roadside assistance company The AA reversed 4.8% to 32p on announcing that it had received a possible 35p per share takeover from investors including TowerBrook Capital Partners and Warburg Pincus International.

An initial approach by the potential suitors had been announced previously by AA.

Cinema group Cineworld jumped 20% to 55.3p after it secured a $450m debt facility to firm up its finances and said it was eyeing an additional $300m in liquidity.

Recruitment firm SThree rose 5.9% to 324p, having upgraded its annual profit expectations following an improved performance at its US and German businesses, driven by demand in the life sciences and technology sectors.

Solar project investor NextEnergy Solar Fund firmed 1.5% to 106.8p as it posted a 12% rise in first-half profit and upped its dividend after it generated more energy than budgeted.

German business park investor Sirius Real Estate gained 5.6% to 88.2p, having upped its dividend after notching an improvement in its underlying profit amid a rise in revenue.

Russia-focused gold miner Petropavlovsk shed 3.6% to 25.75p after it appointed of KPMG to investigate 'certain transactions' undertaken by the company in the three years to August 2020.

The forensic investigation is principally into related party transactions and had been approved by shareholders at a general meeting in August.

High-tech component supplier to the aerospace and energy markets Meggitt added 5.1% to 399.5p as it issued $300m of private placement debt.

Business consultancy Mind Gym was marked down 2.2% to 110p after it swung to a first half loss as the pandemic disrupted business activity and prompted a suspension of face-to-face meetings.

Telematics group Trakm8 ticked up 3.6% to 14.5p, despite posting a first half loss, after the company said it expected its sales to improve in the second half.

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