The FTSE 100 rose 0.7 per cent today as UK Covid-19 cases continued to decline, in what was a strong start to the week for global markets.
Buoyed by a raft of heavyweights, London’s premier index closed at 7,081.72, with the 7,100 barrier firmly in its sights.
It was an even better day for the FTSE 250 of midcap firms, which picked up 1.1 per cent to hit 23,208.67.
Once again new Covid cases declined, falling to 21,952 from 24,470 yesterday, adding to optimism that the end of the pandemic could at last be nearing.
The FTSE 100 was powered higher by aviation stocks such as Rolls-Royce and BA owner IAG, which rose 4.2 and 3.5 per cent respectively.
The bump came as US and EU citizens who have received two doses of a vaccine became exempt from the need to isolate on arrival in the UK.
It was also aviation that drove the FTSE 250’s day, as news of a private sector buyout of engineering firm Meggitt sent the firm’s stock up 56.7 per cent.
Among other deals, British asset management services provider Sanne Group jumped 7.9 per cent after it said it could get a takeover bid from fund servicer Apex Group as the recent flurry of dealmaking activity in the City continued apace.
The rise meant that the FTSE 100 was trading broadly in line with its European rivals, with the Eurostoxx 50 up 0.8 per cent today.
Across the Atlantic, US markets pushed back towards record highs after Senators unveiled a $1bn package of infrastructure spending on Sunday.
The S&P 500 is up 0.4 per cent, the Dow Jones is up 0.3 per cent, and the tech-heavy NASDAQ is up 0.6 per cent so far today.