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FTSE 100 gets Halloween treat as stocks fly to five-week high

London’s top stocks have enjoyed a Halloween rebound with the FTSE 100 ending the month at a five-week high.

The blue-chip index reached the highest level since before the former Chancellor’s mini budget on September 23, which punctured the stock market during October and sent sterling plummeting.

The FTSE 100 closed 46.86 points higher, or 0.66%, at 7,094.53.

The index was pushed up by strong gains for energy firm Centrica, which announced on Friday it was reopening its giant gas storage facility, Rough.

It has also been helped up by gains across Britain’s high-street banks, amid expectations that the Bank of England’s Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) will raise the base rate by 75 basis points on Thursday.

Higher interest rates can boost lenders’ profits as it means they get greater returns from loans, although there is a risk that gains will be offset by potential defaults from vulnerable customers.

Meanwhile, the pound saw its recent daily gains against the US dollar slip away during Monday.

It was down 1% to 1.1494 against the dollar when European markets closed, falling more than a cent from the highs of the day.

Chris Beauchamp, chief market analyst at online trading platform IG, said: “While Wall Street edges lower in early trading, the FTSE 100 has managed to rise to a one-month high.

“Banks have been a major player here, as expectations of tighter interest rates boost income forecasts for the sector, a point highlighted by several major players in their results.

“Meanwhile, the pound’s drop today back below 1.15 dollars has provided another tailwind for the index, but the modest losses in the US might be a harbinger of things to come if the Fed is more hawkish than expected this week.”

Elsewhere in Europe, the German Dax made strong gains during the day but stocks slipped to edge just 0.08% higher when markets closed. The French Cac was down 0.1%.

US stocks started the week on the back foot ahead of the highly-anticipated Federal Reserve rates meeting this week. The S&P 500 was down 0.74% and Dow Jones has slipped 0.41% when European markets closed.

Sterling was also down 0.16% to 1.1629 against the euro.

In company news, troubled UK battery start-up Britishvolt is gearing up to potentially fall into administration after failing to receive more funding for the development of its Northumberland gigafactory.

It sent shares in FTSE 100-listed Glencore slipping, as the metals giant had plugged tens of millions of pounds of financial backing into Britishvolt.

Shares in Glencore had recovered by the end of the day, and were up 0.55%.

Advertising giant M&C Saatchi saw its takeover offer from consultancy Next Fifteen terminated after shareholders voted against the deal.

A £310 million takeover was initially agreed before M&C Saatchi saw its share value plunge, impacting the value of the deal.

Shares in M&C Saatchi had edged up 0.36% when markets closed.

On the other hand, AIM-listed engineering group TP Group agreed a £17.5 million takeover by rival Science Group, leading its shares to rocket by more than 180% on Monday.

The biggest risers on the FTSE 100 were IAG, up 6.28p to 121.56p, Centrica, up 3.46p to 76.62p, NatWest Group, up 9.9p to 234.8p, Flutter Entertainment, up 335p to 11,580p, and CocaCola HBC, up 50.5p to 1,902.5p.

The biggest fallers on the FTSE 100 were Intertek, down 104p to 3,654p, Croda, down 106p to 6,760p, Mondi, down 23p to 1,462.5p, RS Group, down 14p to 958.5p, and Spirax-Sarco, down 150p to 10,750p.