London’s FTSE 100 regained ground today, taking its lead from a decent overnight session in Asia that was aided by Chinese lawmakers signalling economic support measures are on the way.
The capital’s premier index jumped 0.11 per cent to 7,461.47 points, while the domestically-focused mid-cap FTSE 250 index, which is more aligned with the health of the UK economy, climbed 0.45 per cent to 18,054.84 points.
A decent start in the City was driven by Asian shares pumping up sharply overnight, with Hong Kong’s main Hang Seng index up nearly two per cent.
China’s Shanghai Composite also climbed more than one per cent after Chinese premier Li Qiand set out Beijing’s intent on boosting economic growth by launching demand-stimulating policies.
The announcement cranked up Asia-focused shares listed on the FTSE 100. Insurer Prudential scaled to near the top of the index, advancing 1.53 per cent, while bank Standard Chartered nearly two per cent.
“China is in accommodative mode with premier Li Qiang saying Beijing would introduce growth policies to boost demand, whilst sentiment also seemed to improve as the [People’s Bank of China] set a stronger-than-expected fix for the yuan,” Neil Wilson, chief market analyst at Finalto, said.
Closing second bottom of the FTSE 100 was high street retailer JD Sports, shedding 2.73 per cent despite telling investors its profits are on track to top £1bn.
The share price drop is likely to have been driven by “some softening in trade in June” in its US business, Victoria Scholar, head of investment at interactive investor, said.
Telecoms giant BT was the worst performer, down 3.64 per cent.
International payments firm and London tech darling Wise closed up 16 per cent in the City after it said profits climbed more than 200 per cent.
Traders are bracing for a deluge of central banker speak over the next few days as the European Central Bank conference on monetary policy in Sintra, Portugal gets underway.
Departing monetary policy committee member Silvane Tenreyro today provided some clues on why she backed keeping interest rates unchanged at 4.5 per cent at last week’s MPC meeting, arguing that central banks risk pushing inflation below their targets if they respond to external supply shocks too aggressively.
Pound sterling climbed around 0.3 per cent against the US dollar.
Oil prices fell around two per cent.