- FTSE 100 gains 229 points
- Sterling is under pressure
- US markets rebound sharply after sputtering open
5.05pm: FTSE 100 sitting pretty relative to Eurozone counterparts
The FTSE 100 closed 229 points higher, 3.5%, at 6,842 on Wednesday driven by strength in the oil sector. The FTSE 250 improved 255 points, 1.2%, to 20,973.
“The FTSE 100 continues to outperform its eurozone equivalents as the rally in oil stocks has boosted the UK index,” CMC Markets UK analyst David Madden wrote Wednesday. “The mood in Europe is positive across the board but the strong contribution of and BP to the FTSE 100 in terms of index points has given it a big advantage over the other markets.”
Anglo American, Glencore and Rio Tinto. , Standard Chartered and Barclays all made gains, Madden noted.
In the US, markets roared to life after a slow start. The Dow gained 472 points, 1.5%, to 30,863 at midday, the Nasdaq rose 63 points, 0.5%, to 12,882, and the S&P 500 advanced 43 points, 1.1%, to 3,770.
“The Senate elections in Georgia are being closely watched and it has been reported that the two Democrat candidates, Raphael Warnock and Jon Ossoff are leading their respective races but nothing is a done deal,” Madden wrote. “Should they succeed, it would give the Democrats control of the Senate, albeit a slim majority. A robust Biden administration would be in a position to roll out addition stimulus should it be required, and the campaign pledges were infrastructure spending and green energy plans.”
3.50pm: Hipgnosis Songs continues shopping spree with Neil Young catalogue
FTSE 100 did not catch a break and kept rocketing up to the closing bell, soaring 242 points to 6,855.
The banks were leading the way, with Standard Chartered () jumping 10% while () and Barclays () were both up 9%.
“Lockdown? What lockdown? The FTSE’s insistent start to the New Year not only continued, but accelerated, on Wednesday afternoon, the index desperate to play catch-up with its European and US peers,” said Connor Campbell at .
“Less than 48 hours on from Boris Johnson’s lockdown announcement and the FTSE already seems to have forgotten all about it, in favour of vaccine optimism, gushing oil gains, and glee at the prospect of a Democrat-controlled Senate.”
In the FTSE 250, () continued the shopping spree seen over the week after acquiring 50% of the rights to the back catalogue of Neil Young.
The investor managed to convince the singer-songwriter, who has long railed against ‘selling out’ and commercialisation his entire career.
For Hipgnosis founder Merck Mercuriadis this seemed to be a particularly important acquisition, saying he bought Young’s ‘Harvest’ solo album when he was aged seven and ever since then the music has been his “friend and constant”, with the deal “a dream” for him.
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