London’s FTSE 100 was bumped higher today as investors were buoyed by signs Beijing is reeling back its tough zero-Covid policy.
The capital’s premier index jumped 0.15 per cent to 7,567.54 points, while the domestically-focused mid-cap FTSE 250 index, which is more aligned with the health of the UK economy, dipped 0.17 per cent to 19,329.58 points.
Chinese officials are set to announce a further easing in strict virus prevention as soon as tomorrow, according to reports by news agency Reuters.
FTSE 100 inched higher today
Beijing has stuck to snap lockdowns, shutting trading hubs and factories to stem sudden Covid-19 flare ups since the start of the pandemic.
The rest of the world has largely reverted to normal socialising due to successful vaccine rollouts, whereas China has maintained draconian measures to tackle the pandemic.
Investors have been betting on a China reopening to lift global economic growth.
“It’s been a mixed start to the week as investors look towards the recent change of emphasis on a reopening of China’s economy away from its zero-Covid approach,” Michael Hewson, chief market analyst at CMC Markets UK, said.
“This more pragmatic approach to Covid by the Chinese government appears to be prompting optimism about the pace of a possible reopening with the likes of Prudential seeing further gains on top of last week’s strong performance, and helping to provide an uplift to the FTSE100,” he added.
The insurer, which has a sprawling China business, topped the index, climbing 5.34 per cent.
The pound sank nearly 0.9 per cent against the US dollar in late afternoon trading driven by investors fretting over the UK tumbling into a year long recession, as forecast by the Confederation of British Industry today.