Friday 26 March 2021 2:54 pm

FTSE 100 and Wall Street rise on recovery optimism

FTSE 100 climbed further this afternoon as Wall Street opened higher on renewed economic recovery optimism.

London’s blue-chip index is trading 0.9 per cent higher this afternoon as higher retail sales triggered a new wave of confidence in the economic recovery.

Mining stocks including Rio Tinto, Anglo American and BHP pushed higher after a slow Thursday all gaining more than four per cent.

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Oil heavyweights BP and Royal Dutch Shell were also among the biggest boosts, as oil prices rose on fears that a ship blocking the Suez Canal would squeeze crude supplies.

British retail sales rose in February, helped in part by consumers buying outdoor furniture ahead of the easing of Covid restrictions from next week.

Meanwhile, the mid-cap FTSE 250 rose by 1.15 per cent, led by climbs in financials stocks.

Read more: Retail sales recover slightly in February driven by DIY purchases

Market movers

The morning’s biggest winner was Smiths Group, which rose 5.6 per cent, followed by Glencore, up by five per cent.

Antofoagasta, Anglo American, Evraz and Rio Tinto are all trading up between 3.6 and 4.3 per cnet.

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Fashion house Burberry continued to fall after shedding 6.6 per cent on Thursday in the wake of China retaliation over dropping cotton made in Xinjiang over labour concerns.

It has slipped a further 1.4 per cent this afternoon.

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Wall Street boosted by Biden’s revised vaccine target

US stocks opened higher after President Biden doubled his vaccine target for his first 100 days in office.

The benchmark S&P 500 is up 0.5 per cent while the Dow Jones is up 175 points, or 0.5 per cent, this afternoon.

The tech-heavy Nasdaq recovered some of its losses gaining 0.6 per cent today.

Wall Street had a sluggish day of trading yesterday despite signs of economic revival in jobless claim figures.

Figures from the Labor Department showed initial claims for state unemployment benefits came in at 684,000, down from 781,000 a week earlier.

However Biden’s announcement that he has set a new goal of 200m doses to be administered in his first 100 days has pushed stocks higher.

Yesterday the White House said 130m shots had been administered as of Wednesday. Some 85m have received one shot, while 45m have been fully vaccinated.

The President has been bullish on the vaccine rollout, declaring a new target of 1 May by which every US adult would be eligible for a jab, earlier this month.