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FTSE 100 soars as oil and miners get June off to a roaring start

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 (Denys Nevozhai/Unsplash)
(Denys Nevozhai/Unsplash)

Commodity stocks ensured June got off to a flaming start for investors as China's manufacturing sector gave a significant lift to global economic recovery hopes.

Anglo American and Rio Tinto shares led the way with gains of more than 4%, with rivals Glencore and BHP Group not far behind as the FTSE 100 index rallied more than 1%.

The surge came after new figures showed China's factories expanded last month at their fastest pace so far this year, despite growing pressure from raw material costs.

Brent crude oil prices also traded above $70 a barrel for the first time since March after OPEC forecast tighter markets as inventories decline and the pandemic glut of oil starts to run out.

Demand has also been boosted by the start of the summer driving season in the United States, which is the world's biggest oil consumer.

BP and Royal Dutch Shell rallied more than 2%, up 6.25p to 312.4p and 25.4p to 1,309p, contributing to a better-than-expected start to the week for the London market as the FTSE 100 added 79.17 points to 7,101.35.

The session was more than just about commodities, however, with advertising group WPP and education publishing firm Pearson among other top flight stocks up more than 2%.

The domestic-focused FTSE 250 index also added 182.32 points to 22,866.62 as fears over rising Covid-19 infection rates in the UK failed to derail shares.

Risers included Upper Crust railway caterer SSP, which added 4% or 12.5p to 306.6p.

There were also signs of recovery for Trainline shares after they fell sharply last month on the back of plans for a rival Great British Railway ticketing website and app. With directors buying shares in recent days, the stock improved by 11.8p to 295.8p today.

The session also marked the end of the road as a stock market company for RSA Insurance after the completion of its £7.2 billion takeover by Canada's Intact Financial and Scandinavian insurer Tryg.

Shareholders of the company, which has been in existence for more than 300 years, are set to receive 685p a share plus the interim dividend of 8p.

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