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Wall Street pushes higher as FTSE 100 finishes with gains

FTSE  Photo by: NDZ/STAR MAX/IPx 2022 1/4/23 An exterior view of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) on Wall street on January 4, 2023 in New York.
Wall Street and FTSE 100 were both higher on China optimism. Photo: AP

The FTSE 100 and European stocks finished higher on Monday, amid optimism around China’s reopening and hopes that the US economy can avoid a hard landing.

The FTSE 100 (^FTSE) rose 0.30% to close at 7,722 points, while the CAC 40 (^FCHI) in Paris gained 0.93% to 6,924 points. In Germany, the DAX (^GDAXI) rose 1.46% to 14,823.

The UK's blue-chip index's rally that took it to a four-year high on Friday lost some steam during the afternoon only to bounce back as the internationally-focused index benefited from China opening its borders once again.

Read more: The biggest financial challenges of 2023

BP (BP.L) and Shell (SHEL.L) were up around 1%, having both rallied over 40% during 2022 due to the surge in oil and gas prices. Mining companies Antofagasta (ANTO.L) and Glencore (GLEN.L) gained over 3%.

Across the pond, stocks pushed higher as traders placed their bets on the idea that that slow wage gains could pave the way for less aggressive rate hikes from the Federal Reserve.

The Dow Jones (^DJI) gained 0.81% to 33,904 points. The S&P 500 (^GSPC) advanced 1.39% to 3,949 points and the tech-heavy NASDAQ (^IXIC) jumped 2.18% to 10,799.

Meanwhile, Brent crude (BZ=F) was trading at around $80 per barrel, as oil prices rise amid optimism that China is indeed coming out of its COVID-related self-isolation.

After the Ukraine invasion, Brent hit $130 per barrel in March, but has been generally falling since last summer.

Ole Hansen, head of commodity strategy at Saxo, said: "The first week of 2023 was tough for crude oil, driven by global growth concerns, a very mild winter across the Northern Hemisphere dampening demand, and a mixed outlook for China.

Read more: UK households to be £2,100 worse off amid cost of living crisis

"Despite removing most virus-related restrictions, a surge in cases across the country has hit the short-term demand outlook while at the same time setting the economy on a path to recovery. Meanwhile, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) warned that a third of the global economy could be in recession in 2023."

In Asia, Tokyo’s Nikkei 225 (^N225) was closed for a holiday, while the Hang Seng (^HSI) in Hong Kong rose 1.71% to 21,349. The Shanghai Composite (000001.SS) climbed 0.58% to 3,176 points.

Watch: China eases COVID-19 travel restrictions