Monday 25 November 2019 9:01 am

FTSE 100 jumps on US-China trade war optimism as Tory polling boosts pound

The FTSE 100 rose more than almost half a per cent higher today as China signalled it is willing to bring an end to its prolonged trade war with the US.

Meanwhile sterling jumped 0.3 per cent higher as the latest election polls put the Tories on track to win a majority in December’s election.

Read more: Asian stocks climb higher on US-China trade war optimism

London’s blue-chip index climbed 0.6 per cent to 7,368.7 points in early trading after Chinese state media said the US and China are “very close” to securing an initial trade deal.

US national security adviser Robert O’Brian said over the weekend that a phase one agreement is possible by the end of 2019.

Meanwhile a report that ran in China’s state-run Global Times publication that said the global superpowers are “very close” to achieving the phase one agreement.

That sent UK stocks listed higher, with miner Evraz leading the FTSE 100 pack with a 3.6 per cent rise to hit a 371.6p share price.

“It is a sign of just how trade-focused the markets are that they are continually willing to rise and fall on the most flimsy kinds of updates, rather than waiting for something a bit firmer action-wise,” Spreadex’s financial analyst, Connor Campbell, said.

France’s Cac and Germany’s Dax also benefited from traders’ optimism, respectively climbing 0.5 per cent and 0.6 per cent higher.

Asian markets also increased overnight following a dramatic set of election results in Hong Kong that saw record turnout as pro-democracy candidates took control of 90 per cent of councils.

Meanwhile sterling got a boost from the Tories’ solid lead at the top of the polls at the start of the week.

Read more: Conservative manifesto: How will Boris Johnson tax and spend?

The pound increased 0.34 per cent to $1.287 as an average of the last 10 national polls put Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s Conservatives with a 13-point lead two weeks from the 12 December election.

That puts the Tories on course to win a majority in the General Election after Johnson unveiled what the Institute of Fiscal Studies called a “modest” manifesto yesterday.