The relaxed summer mood for European markets showed no signs of ending today, with the FTSE 100 index near a new high for the year and mid-caps continuing their momentum.
Gains in Asia ensured London's top flight opened the new month 66.15 points higher at 7,185.76, taking it within 35 points of August's highest point since the start of the pandemic.
The FTSE 100 is up 9% so far this year, but that's eclipsed by the 18% surge for the FTSE 250 index after rising 5% last month to a fresh record. It was at 24,252.50 after adding another 150.37 points today.
Despite the bullish start, traders are braced for an eventful month with the latest meeting of the US Federal Reserve, elections in Germany and Canada and fights over US government spending among potential concerns.
For now, investors displayed their risk appetite by driving JD Sports Fashion 3% higher to the top of the FTSE 100 and lifting British Airways owner IAG up 3.9p to 163.25p.
The biggest surge in the FTSE 250 came from door and window components supplier Tyman, which lifted 20.5p to 435.5p after Berenberg unveiled a “buy” recommendation.
Early calculations on the insurance cost of the hurricane devastation in Louisiana helped the FTSE 250 index pair of Lancashire Holdings and Hiscox stage a recovery.
Fitch Ratings thinks the potential industry loss will be between $15 billion-$25 billion, below the record $65 billion from Hurricane Katrina in 2005. With Fitch not expecting any ratings downgrades in the sector, Lancashire rose 10.5p to 635.5p and Hiscox lifted 15p to 933.8p.
On AIM, shares in robotic process automation business Blue Prism continue to rise after it became a takeover target for two US private equity firms. The company, whose software customers include Jaguar Land Rover and Waitrose, closed 32% higher last night for a valuation of £1.1 billion before adding another 18p to 1,118p today.