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Global markets close higher on reports of Donald Trump’s health progress

Henry Saker-Clark, PA City Reporter
·3-min read

Global markets pushed higher after traders welcomed reports that US President Donald Trump’s health has improved after first being diagnosed with Covid-19.

However, questions remain over the seriousness of his illness after a wide variety of statements over the weekend and on Monday.

Connor Campbell, financial analyst at Spreadex, said: “With reports that Donald Trump could be discharged back to the White House by Monday night, the markets continued to indulge in a presidential rebound.

“Thanks to the Dow Jones opening strong, the European indices only extended their gains as the afternoon went on.”

The FTSE 100 had already been in positive territory before the Dow Jones opened and the first positive noises came out of the US.

London Stock Exchange sign
The FTSE 100 has seen an uptick (Kirsty O’Connor/PA)

London’s top flight closed 28.42 points higher at 5,930.54 at the end of trading on Monday.

The Dow Jones climbed almost 350 points after opening as traders were in a particularly buoyant mood, helping it towards its best price in two-and-a-half weeks.

Indices across Europe also welcomed broadly positive service industry data, with the UK and Eurozone figures both coming in marginally ahead of analyst consensus.

The German Dax increased by 0.8%, while the French Cac moved 0.97% higher.

Meanwhile, sterling made ground on the dollar as US traders sold from the US Greenback to invest in buoyant company stocks.

The pound rose by 0.34% versus the US dollar at 1.297 and was down 0.25% against the euro at 1.101.

UK-focused companies such as the major supermarket chains and property firms made gains as they benefited from improvement in the pound against the dollar.

In company news, Cineworld was easily the worst performer in the FTSE 350 on Monday after it confirmed it will temporarily shut its UK and US cinemas, with up to 45,000 people being affected.

Cineworld
Cineworld has told investors it is considering its liquidity options (Gareth Fuller/PA)

The debt-laden group told investors it is considering its liquidity options amid fears it could run out of cash.

Its extreme measures resulted in a sharp fall in share price, tumbling by 14.27p to 25.2p at the close of play.

Elsewhere, Weir Group saw its shares hit a one-year high after it said it will sell its entire oil and gas business to Caterpillar for £314 million.

Shares in the company rose by 203.5p to 1,483.5p after shareholders welcomed its exit from the energy sector which had been a tough area for Weir recently.

Handbag-maker Mulberry saw shares slip by 15p to 151p after it revealed revenues dropped more than 10% to £149.3 million in the year prior to the coronavirus pandemic.

The price of oil rebounded as optimism surrounding the president’s condition helped to recoup losses from last week.

David Madden, market analyst at CMC Markets UK, said: “At the back end of last week, the energy market dropped to its lowest level since mid-June, and that was partially because of the news that Donald Trump contracted the coronavirus. The mood has turned around today.”

The price of a barrel of Brent crude oil increased by 6.04% to 41.64 US dollars.

The biggest risers on the FTSE 100 were Rolls-Royce, up 9.8p at 123.4p, Melrose, up 6.9p at 123.55p, Vodafone, up 4.86p at 107.86p, and Barratt, up 20.3p at 511.4p.

The biggest fallers of the day were RB, down 180p at 7,492p, Mondi, down 27.5p at 1,690p, Severn Trent, down 34p at 2,492p, and Pearson, down 6.2p at 552.2p.