Wall Street opened marginally higher this afternoon after better-than-expected retail results boosted optimism about rising consumer confidence.
The Dow Jones ticked up 0.07 per cent at the open, while the S&P 500 edged 0.06 per cent higher. The tech-heavy Nasdaq gained 0.28 per cent at the opening bell.
The modest gains came after Walmart and Home Depot both beat expectations thanks to the easing of lockdown measures and stimulus cheques in the US.
It came after London’s FTSE 100 shot up this morning as better-than-expected jobs data boosted confidence in a strong economic recovery.
Official data showed Britain’s unemployment rate unexpectedly fell to 4.8 per cent between January and March, outperforming a forecast of 4.9 per cent.
The blue-chip index rose 0.4 per cent in morning trading, buoyed by gains in heavyweight mining stocks as they tracked higher copper and zinc prices.
However, these gains were offset by losses for Vodafone after disappointing annual results, and the FTSE closed up only a marginal 0.02 per cent.
Meanwhile, the domestically focused mid-cap FTSE 250 also advanced 0.6 per cent, boosted by Oxford Biomedica’s 10.2 per cent surge after doubling its revenue expectation.
The morning’s biggest winner was miner Evraz, which rose 2.8 per cent, followed by BP, up by 2.6 per cent.
BHP and Glencore also both rose by 2.1 per cent, as miners led the way in the index.
Vodafone was the morning’s biggest faller, dropping by 6.3 per cent, followed by Intermediate Capital’s 1.3 per cent hit.
Meanwhile, Hargreaves Lansdown and Antofagasta both dipped by 1.2 per cent and 0.8 per cent respectively.
“After last week’s inflation-inspired global markets sell-off, equities are racing to claw back lost territory with gains seen across Europe and Asia on Tuesday,” said Russ Mould, investment director at AJ Bell.
“It looked like a risk-on day for UK stocks, with investors bidding up shares in energy, mining and consumer cyclicals. That would suggest new-found optimism towards global economic growth and that investors are trying to look beyond short-term issues around the Indian Covid variant.”
Around the world
On Wall Street major retailers were the driving force behind gains, as strong results indicated good consumer demand against the backdrop of rising prices.
Shares in Walmart rose just under 2.5 per cent. Home Depot initially rose 2.2 per cent before dropping back into the red.
Asian shares rose today, shrugging off concerns about a rise in Covid infections, while inflation jitters helped push gold prices to three-month highs.
Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan shot up 1.6 per cent after a mixed session yesterday, still not recouping losses of the last few weeks amid surging coronavirus cases.
Japan’s Nikkei also rose by 2.1 per cent on solid earnings reports, while Hong Kong’s stocks were up 1.3 per cent.
Meanwhile, European stocks neared record highs on economic optimism, with the Stoxx 600 index rising 0.4 per cent.
The German Dax also advanced 0.4 per cent to a record 15,454.54, while the Italian MIB shot up 0.6 per cent.