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London’s FTSE 100 kicked off a fresh week in decent style this morning, lifted higher by investors snapping up shares in mining giants Rio Tinto and Anglo American off the back of a bump in commodity prices.
The capital’s premier index added 0.5 percent to reach 7,911.02 points, while the domestically-focused mid-cap FTSE 250 index, which is more responsive to sentiment toward the UK economy, climbed 0.76 percent to 19,389.25 points.
Strong advances for big industrial companies pushed the FTSE 100 higher in the City today, with appetite toward the sector fortified by a better outlook for demand for raw material prices on expectations of a Chinese growth spurt.
The index, which tracks the performance of the UK’s top companies, is heavily geared toward so-called “old economy” stocks, things like mining companies, meaning the FTSE 100 often flies when market sentiment improves toward industrial firms.
Rio Tinto jumped more than two percent, sending it to near the summit of the index, while Anglo American creeped 1.76 percent higher.
“European markets have opened higher with the FTSE 100 trading above 7,900. Stronger commodities have lifted stocks like Anglo American, Rio Tinto and BP towards the top of the UK index ahead of China’s closely watched economic growth figures on Tuesday,” Victoria Scholar, head of investment at fund manager interactive investor, said.
Investors are keen to see how bad lenders have been damaged by last month’s financial market volatility that laid waste to US tech lender Silicon Valley Bank and prompted a fire sale of Credit Suisse to its biggest rival UBS.
“Expectations for earnings are on the floor, so beats can be expected. Wall Street’s big banks delivered strong earnings last week, but they are the stronger ones,” Neil Wilson, chief market analyst at Finalto, said.
Sky News reported today that UK banking giant Barclays is poised to lay off around 100 staff in its trading arm. Its shares were down nearly one percent in London.
The pound was pretty much unchanged against the US dollar, while the yield on the 10-year gilt nudged lower.
Forecasts from the EY Item Club out today claim the Bank won’t cut interest rates until Christmas and will also back a twelfth straight rise at its next meeting on 11 May.
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