Mining glory takes FTSE 100 past 6,200 to post highest close of 2016

 
Jake Cordell
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FTSE closes at 2016 high
The FTSE 100 closed at a 2016-high of 6,203, though it is some way off the 7,000 mark breached last year. (Source: Getty)

Traders got out their spades and went digging for value today, striking gold in the topsy-turvy commodities sector and helping the FTSE to put on an impressive 1.59 per cent to close at 6,203 - its highest level of the year.

Markets started cheerily this morning, surging by 63 points at the open, and the feel-good factor proved buoyant enough to brush off concerns about the future of the UK steel industry and some cuts to Eurozone growth forecasts.

Miners peppered the top performers board, more than making up for yesterday’s losses. Anglo American shot up by 11.8 per cent to 535.7p, Rio Tinto (1,973p) and BHP Billiton (793.6p) were also big winners - up more than six per cent a piece.

It is only the second time this year that the FTSE has closed above 6,200. But, before we get too giddy, it’s worth remembering that on this day in 2015 the tickers read 6,891 and were gearing up for a heroic assault on the 7,000 barrier.

Only six stocks ended the day in the red, including the London Stock Exchange, which dipped by just 0.46 per cent to 2,820 and is still mired in merger talks with its German counterpart, Deutsche Boerse.

Away from equities, oil recovered some of yesterday’s lost ground as Brent edged closer towards the magical $40 mark, up 1.05 per cent to $39.55.

Sterling, which is staring down the barrel of its worst first quarter performance since 2009, has been up-and-down against the US dollar all day after Janet Yellen flapped her dovish wings last night, confirming the Federal Reserve would “proceed cautiously” with interest rate rises. At one point a quid would’ve got you $1.4459. As it stands, they are swapping hands for slightly less, at $1.4384.

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