Thursday 14 January 2021 2:44 pm

FTSE 100 and Wall Street on the rise on Biden stimulus hopes

The FTSE 100 and Wall Street rose today on the news that President-elect Joe Biden will tonight unveil a fresh trillion stimulus package to boost the US’ flagging economy.

Read more: Before the Bell: Europe called higher as Biden is due to announce $2trn stimulus

Biden is expected to reveal details of the deal, which is expected to top $1.5 trillion, in an television address tonight.

London’s premier index rose 0.5 per cent by the early afternoon to stand at 6,786 points.

The rise came after three sessions of mild declines on the FTSE 100 as traders paused for breath after a rapid start to the year.

Premier Inn owner Whitbread was the top riser, with shares up 4.9 per cent after it announced it had completed its restructuring plans. BA owner IAG also pushed higher, climbing 4.7 per cent.

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The FTSE 250 of mid-cap firms opened stronger, up 0.6 per cent at 20,746 points.

Takeway firm Just Eat led the way, with shares jumping 15 per cent in the opening hours of trading.

European markets are currently performing slower than the FTSE, with Germany’s DAX and the French CAC up 0.2 per cent each.

Overnight, the Nikkei rose 1.4 per cent to stand at a fresh 30-year high, having gained 8.0 per cent so far this year.

MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan was steady and just a whisker short of Monday’s all-time high.

Wall Street follows FTSE’s lead

Across the Atlantic, Wall Street’s biggest markets also edged higher as traders awaited further details of Biden’s plan.

At the open, the S&P 500 was up 0.2 per cent, and the Dow Jones and Nasdaq were both up 0.4 per cent.

Read more: US unemployment claims surge as Covid-19 cases ravage economy and jobs

The rises came despite a higher than expected tally of new jobless claims suggested another weakening in the US jobs market.

There were 965,000 claims for state unemployment benefits last week, compared to 784,000 in the prior week, the Labor Department said today.