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FTSE finishes higher after Powell reappointment plans boost markets

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FILE – Chairman of the Federal Reserve Jerome Powell (Susan Walsh/AP) (AP)
FILE – Chairman of the Federal Reserve Jerome Powell (Susan Walsh/AP) (AP)

The FTSE rebounded after last week’s dire showing as the nomination of Jerome Powell to the Fed for another term helped stabilise trading.

European stocks have continued to waver amid caution over worsening pandemic statistics in some countries but London made a calm and assured start to the week.

London’s top flight closed 31.89 points, or 0.44%, higher at 7,255.46 on Monday.

Michael Hewson, chief market analyst at CMC Markets UK, said: “Despite opening slightly higher, European markets spent most of the day trading in broadly negative territory until the afternoon announcement of the confirmation of Jay Powell as Fed chairman for another four years helped provide an afternoon uplift.

“This news has helped outweigh the broader negativity that has seen the euro slide back towards its recent lows, as protests in Europe over new Covid-19 restrictions acted as an initial broader drag on sentiment.”

Chris Beauchamp, chief market analyst at IG, said: “Equities traditionally do better around Thanksgiving and into the end of November, and the continued resilience comes despite the worsening situation in Europe and a still-unsolved supply chain problem.”

Wall Street’s main markets all marched higher once again following the opening bell.

However, across the channel, the main continental markets lost pace towards the end of the session to dip into the red.

The German Dax decreased by 0.27% and the French Cac dropped by 0.1%.

Meanwhile, sterling had a positive session but lost steam against the euro as the eurozone currency rebounded slightly.

The pound moved 0.08% higher versus the US dollar at 1.341, and decreased 0.06% against the euro at 1.190.

In company news, Diploma saw its shares jump after it revealed a 46% surge in annual revenues and backed its trading targets for next year.

The FTSE 250 technical products manufacturer said it was boosted heavily by acquisitions but also saw 12% underlying revenue growth as “better demand” helped the firm accelerate from its original growth projections.

Shares in the business were 256p higher at 3,460p at the close of play.

Mining firm Hochschild plunged in value during the session after Peru moved to close two of the company’s mines on environmental grounds.

Shares dropped by 44.8p to 119.8p.

Marks & Spencer finished in the green after reports over the weekend that New York private equity giant Apollo is potentially targeting the high street stalwart for a takeover.

The Sunday Times reported that Apollo considers the business a bargain and believes the joint venture between M&S and delivery company Ocado has been undervalued.

Shares in M&S finished the day 4.7p higher at 245.5p as a result.

The price of oil continued its recent slump on the back of speculation that the US and China might coordinate efforts to release further oil supply.

Brent crude dropped by 0.2% to 79.82 dollars per barrel when the London markets closed.

The biggest risers on the FTSE 100 were Antofagasta, up 70.5p at 1,479p, Vodafone, up 3.62p at 117.24p, BHP, up 58.6p at 1,942.8p, and Royal Mail, up 14.3p at 512.8p.

The biggest fallers were Polymetal, down 64.5p at 1,408.5pm Darktrace, down 18.5p at 509p, ITV, down 1.95p at 118.75p, and Informa, down 8.2p at 506p.

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