A rally among financial stocks boosted London’s top indexes this morning as the FTSE 100 closes in on its pre-Russian invasion of Ukraine high.
The capital’s premier FTSE 100 index closed 0.46 per cent higher at 7,476.72 points, while the domestically-focused FTSE 250 index, which is more aligned with the health of the UK economy, climbed 0.5 per cent to 21,112.6 points.
Banks and insurers were among the best performers in the City yesterday.
Britain’s largest mortgage lender Lloyds was the third biggest riser, advancing 3.31 per cent.
Fellow high street lenders HSBC, NatWest and Barclays were also pushing towards the summit of the FTSE 100.
Sentiment towards banks has been boosted by the Bank of England hiking interest rates at three consecutive meetings, taking them to pre-pandemic levels of 0.75 per cent.
Banks benefit from a higher interest rate environment as it allows them to charge more for loans.
Insurer Prudential was the top share, gaining 3.27 per cent.
DIY retailer B&Q owner Kingfisher finished bottom of the FTSE 100, plummeting 6.32 per cent despite posting a £1bn profit take, its best ever.
The City’s top index on Monday closed a shade lower than its level recorded before Russian President Vladimir Putin sent troops into Ukraine.
Meanwhile on the FTSE 250 finance firm TP ICAP was the top performer, soaring over 12 per cent.
The pound strengthened 0.65 per cent against the dollar to buy $1.325.
European shares closed higher. Germany’s Dax 30 added 1.02 per cent and France’s Cac 40 gained 1.17 per cent.