At the close: S&P 500 recovers from early year losses on tech giants' results while FTSE 100 touches two month high

James Nickerson
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Google's share price rose nine per cent when the market opened (Source: Getty)

The People's Bank of China may have cut interest rates for the sixth time since November on Friday, but even without its actions the S&P 500 would have made gains after Google, Amazon and Microsoft's share prices soared.

As the markets opened in the US, shares in the three companies went crazy, with Amazon's stock opening nine per cent up, while Google's soared 11.7 per cent and Microsoft's rose 10.2 per cent.

Read more: Amazon, Google and Microsoft's share prices go crazy on opening after posting strong results

Facebook had a modest performance by comparison, but that didn't stop its share price rising over $100 per share for the first time.

The S&P 500 is now in the green, 0.91 per cent up on the day, erasing some of the index's early losses for the year.

But, back home the FTSE 100 will - in part - have China's central bankers to thank as it touched a two-month high, rising 1.1 per cent to 6,446 points earlier today, before ending 1.06 per cent up, at 6,444 points.

Investors bet on further easing from the European Central Bank and the cut in interest rates in China, as well as its decision to cut the reserve requirement ratio for most big banks.

"Any stimulus by the Chinese is met by some positivity in equities. It’s just a cherry on the top to Mario Draghi’s comments yesterday," Jonathan Roy, advisory investment manager at Charles Hanover Investments, told Reuters.

Read more: China's stock market turmoil is near its end, says head of central bank

The biggest riser was Travis Perkins, the owner of Wickes, which saw loses yesterday after announcing its full year results would be at the lower end of market expectations. Travis Perkins closed the day 5.09 per cent up.

Pearson continued to its downward spiral, ending the session 5.21 per cent down, the third consecutive day the company has been the FTSE's biggest loser.

After yesterday's fall, Barclays analysts wrote in a note that "the most concerning thing for us about Pearson's weak nine-month update is how little visibility they seemed to have at first half results on 24 July.

"It is hard to see this share price fall as an opportunity".

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