Inflation jitters were put aside on Wednesday morning as investors eyed potential bargains in the aftermath of the London market’s worst session in nearly three months.
The FTSE 100 index regained its poise after skidding 2.5% yesterday, when markets went into selling mode on fears that interest rates may need to rise sooner than expected in order to stop economies from overheating.
A resilient finish on Wall Street last night, amid reassurances from policymakers that inflationary pressures should only be transitory, helped calm the mood.
The mining sector, which has ridden the commodities price boom in recent months as China and other economies rebuild, was behind today’s recovery as the FTSE 100 index returned to the 7,000 threshold in early trading. It was later 40.92 points higher at 6,988.91.
Glencore and Rio Tinto were 2% higher, while Tesla backer Scottish Mortgage Investment Trust recouped some of yesterday’s 5% fall with a gain of 21.5p to 1,106.5p.
Spirax-Sarco Engineering joined the risers after the thermal energy management and pumping specialist reported a strong start to 2021 trading.
The Cheltenham-based company, which has weathered a fair few economic storms in its 130 years, continues to benefit from “exceptional” Covid-19 vaccine related demand at its Watson-Marlow fluid technologies arm.
Despite being one of London’s lesser known blue-chip stocks, Spirax-Sarco is now worth almost £9 billion as shares climbed another 3% or 345p to 11,900p today.
The FTSE 250 index was 41.33 points higher at 22,208.47, with paving specialist Marshalls one of the biggest gainers after reporting trading ahead of expectations. Shares lifted 40.5p to 763p on strong demand in the domestic market.
National Express added 0.2p to 298.8p after revealing 2021 operating profits are running ahead of a year ago, despite Covid-related restrictions. Its coaches are currently on 13% of their pre-Covid mileage, with occupancy of 85% equating to 8% of 2019 passenger numbers.