FTSE breaks four-day losing run as Draghi’s speech boosts mood

BRITAIN’S top share index rose yesterday after European Central Bank president Mario Draghi pledged to act if needed to preserve the euro, boosting sentiment among investors hoping for a fresh round of stimulus.

Speaking at an investment conference in London, Draghi said the central bank was ready to do whatever it takes within its mandate to preserve the euro, adding that the euro area was much stronger than many acknowledged.

The comments sparked a share rebound across Europe, halting a four-day losing streak and offsetting earlier losses driven by weak results in the energy sector.

At the close, the FTSE 100 was up 74.84 points, or 1.4 per cent, at 5,573.16, recovering from a one-month low of 5,498.32 points set the previous day.

Banks and miners were the session’s best performers, adding a combined 17.6 points to the index as investors piled into both sectors, which fell earlier in the week. Lloyds, however, did not join its peers and was instead down 0.5 per cent, ranking among the FTSE’s top losers after it reported weak results for its first half, kicking off earnings season for the banks.

The shares were also hit by the bank’s involvement in the Libor scandal after it received subpoenas from government agencies investigating interest rate rigging. Poor earnings also weighed on Royal Dutch Shell, the session’s worst performer and biggest individual drag on the FTSE. The energy heavyweight’s shares dropped 2.3 per cent after it reported a fall in second-quarter profits.