London’s FTSE 100 climbed by 1.4 per cent today as prospects of a planned re-emergence from lockdown next week boosted shares.
The capital’s premier index currently stands at 6,840, its highest levels since 11 January.
Across the Atlantic, however, the mood was more subdued, with Wall Street’s main markets flat at the open this afternoon.
Boris Johnson said on Monday that England could proceed to the next stage of his roadmap out of lockdown from 12 April, thanks to the rapid vaccine rollout.
The reopening of all shops, gyms, hairdressers, and outdoor hospitality is set to lift beaten down stocks of restaurants and pubs.
The blue-chip index was fired up by energy stocks including BP and Royal Dutch Shell, as well as its mining giants.
The FTSE 100 has risen 5.5 per cent so far this year, supported by speedy vaccine rollouts and a raft of economic stimulus.
Meanwhile, the mid-cap FTSE 250 rose by 1.2 per cent, with cruise operator Carnival and property firm Hammerson providing the biggest boosts to the index.
The morning’s biggest winner was energy firm SSE, up by more than 3.9 per cent.
A raft of other energy and commodities firms, including BP, BHP, Antofagasta and Anglo American all also had strong gains to show from the morning.
Land Securities Group was the morning’s biggest faller, dropping by almost 1.3 per cent, closely followed by takeaway giant Just Eat’s 1.2 per cent hit.
Meanwhile, BT and vaccine maker AstraZeneca both dipped by 0.6 per cent and 0.5 per cent respectively.
On Wall Street
It was a slow start to the week in the US, with Wall Street’s main markets all hovering near their closing prices as trading got underway.
The Dow Jones slipped back from record highs, while the S&P 500 and Nasdaq were both up a mere 0.1 per cent.
Traders are awaiting a job vacancies report later today which will give a sense of how the US’ economic recovery is proceeding.
Elsewhere, Asian stocks hovered near a record high on Tuesday, supported by strong economic data from China and the US.
World equities briefly touched an all-time peak in Asia as one per cent gains in Taiwan’s tech-heavy market followed rises on Wall Street.
Meanwhile, currency and bond markets paused for breath after a month of rapid gains in the dollar and Treasury yields.
EuroSTOXX 50 futures climbed 0.8 per cent, while the S&P closed Monday at a record peak.
March data showed services activity hit a record high in the US, hot on the heels of a bumper jobs report on Friday.