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FTSE 100 closes at two-month high amid strong European trading

Europe’s top markets continued their recent strong spell as trading sentiment remained calm amid cooling interest rate expectations and the winding down of the latest earnings season.

Buoyant health stocks helped to bolster the FTSE 100 on Monday as the recent purple patch helped take the index to its highest close in two months.

London’s top index finished the day up 67.13 points, or 0.92%, at 7,385.17.

Germany’s Dax index also had a strong session, jumping to a fresh five-month high.

The Dax improved 0.62% by the end of the session and the French Cac finished 0.22% higher.

In the US, the markets had a mixed opening but steadied in positive territory after a rebound in US treasury yields.

Chris Beauchamp, chief market analyst at IG, said: “European markets have put their best foot forward today, and after a shaky start it looks like Wall Street is heading in the same direction.

“The slow wind-down of the latest earnings season might well prove more help than hindrance, removing one potential source of bad news for the time being.”

On Monday, the FTSE also benefited from weakness in the pound ahead of pivotal weak for economic data and details of the new Government’s potential tax hikes and spending cuts.

“Normally unemployment data, inflation figures and retail sales would be enough to keep track of, but the fiscal statement this week adds spice to the pound’s outlook,” Mr Beauchamp added.

“Barring some remarkable surprises, this week is not likely to be overflowing with good news for the UK economy.”

The pound was down 0.92% against the dollar at 1.173, and was 0.71% lower against the euro at 1.134 at the close.

In company news, events and subscriptions firm Informa shot higher after lifting its full-year earnings outlook amid strong demand for in-person and online events.

The FTSE 100-listed company said it was upping its revenue guidance by about £100 million and its profits by £15 million for the full year.

The firm closed 31.8p higher at 584.4p on Monday as a result.

Meanwhile, fashion firm Joules saw its shares suspended after it filed a notice to appoint administrators on Monday, putting 1,600 jobs at risk.

The company floated on the stock market with a £140 million valuation in 2016.

Pantheon Resources tumbled in value after reports that short seller Muddy Waters had bet against the AIM-listed company.

The Times reported over the weekend that the Carson Block-led hedge fund had taken a £5 million short position against the firm, pulling shares 10.75p lower to 77.5p.

The price of oil pulled back during the session after OPEC cut its oil demand forecast for the rest of 2022 and 2023 amid concerns over inflation.

Brent crude oil decreased by 1.59% to 94.46 US dollars per barrel when the London markets closed.

The biggest risers on the FTSE 100 were Ocado, up 113.6p to 925.6p, Informa, up 31.8p to 584.4p, B&M, up 17.8p to 403.3p, BT, up 5.15p to 124.95p, and Admiral Group, up 74p to 2,120p.

The biggest fallers on the FTSE 100 were Harbour Energy, down 36.5p to 342.6p, Intermediate Capital Group, down 47p to 1,242.5p, Unite, down 24p to 948p, London Stock Exchange, down 198p to 8,022p, and Flutter Entertainment, down 240p to 11,430p