FTSE shrugs off Monday’s jitters with second strong rise
Thursday was a rollercoaster for the FTSE 100 as it swung by more than 200 points over the day, shrugging off initial worries to post a strong close.
It helped the index throw off the spectre of a loss-making week as it clawed back all the losses it made on Monday, and then some.
“The rebound on the FTSE100 has been driven by outperformance across the board with financials, energy and health care driving the gains,” said CMC Markets analyst Michael Hewson.
“HSBC is leading the banks after being upgraded by Exane on a more positive US rate outlook.
“Standard Chartered is also doing well having been one of the worst performing UK banks last year, its shares pushing up to their highest levels since February 2020.”
The FTSE started down, dropping below 7,390 at one point in the day from a start of 7,470. It then swung to highs of 7,597, before settling back down.
The index closed the day at 7,554.31, a rise of 84.53 points, or 1.1% compared to the day before.
On Monday, markets around the world dipped strongly amid concerns over the military situation in eastern Europe.
However after strong rises on Wednesday and Thursday, it has now more than regained that lost ground.
“While the FTSE 100 has managed to shrug off everything that has been thrown at it so far this month, the Dax has lagged and while it has recovered off its lows it is still down on the week,” Mr Hewson said.
The Frankfurt-based index rose by 0.3% on Thursday while while Paris’s Cac 40 was up 0.5%.
In New York, the S&P 500 had gained 1.1%, while the Dow Jones was up 1.2% as traders in London were finishing their day.
On currency markets, sterling registered a tiny rise against its two major peers. By the end of stock trading in London one pound could buy 1.3394 dollars or 1.2011 euros.
The price of Brent crude oil dipped 0.1% to 89.84 dollars per barrel.
In company news, the reopening of pubs and bars across the world was unsurprisingly good news for Guinness maker Diageo.
The business said that sales had recovered well, especially in Great Britain where it made 30% more from sales of the brown liquid and sold a 13% hike in spirits.
Concerns over inflation, which the company flagged, did not seem to weigh too much on shares, which closed up by 2.6%.
An opposite picture was painted by pub group Fullers It revealed that its pubs had been trading at 90% their pre-pandemic levels after the lifting of restrictions in July.
But in December they dropped back down to 72% following the emergence of the Omicron variant of Covid-19.
Shares fell by 2.9% following the news.
The biggest risers on the FTSE 100 were Standard Chartered, up 22.2p at 546.2p; AstraZeneca, up 355p at 8,836p; Ocado, up 51.5p at 1,560p; Ashtead, up 172p at 5,224p; and DS Smith, up 11.4p at 377.2p.
The biggest fallers on the FTSE 100 were Fresnillo, down 51.4p at 636.4p; Polymetal, down 61.5p at 1,094.5p; LSE, down 266p at 6,958p; Scottish Mortgage Investment Trust, down 32p at 1,045.5p; and International Hotel Group, down 96p at 4,751p.