Wednesday 5 May 2021 6:30 pm

FTSE 100 ends the day on a high while Dow hits new record

Heavyweight mining stocks pushed the FTSE 100 higher today while Wall Street opened higher on strong jobs data as the Dow Jones hit a record high.

The blue-chip index closed 1.68 per cent higher, buoyed by chemicals group Croda’s shares soaring towards the top of the index after it announced a business review assessment.

The return to the 7,000 mark came after the FTSE 100 slipped below it yesterday evening, despite a strong start to trading after the Bank Holiday weekend.

The FTSE 100 has gained 7.8 per cent so far this year as businesses reopened after the third lockdown and improving economic data pointed to a strong recovery.

However, concerns that central banks might put a lid on their policies as the economy reopens has kept the index in a tight trading range recently.

Meanwhile, the mid-cap FTSE 250 also rose by 0.25 per cent. Lloyd’s of London insurer Hiscox shot up 2.5 per cent this morning, following a rise in gross written premiums in the first quarter, before fclosing 1.38 per cent lower.

Market movers

The afternoon’s biggest winner is Anglo American, trading up 4.74 per cent, followed by building material firm CRH which rose 3.12 per cent.

Glencore and Rio Tinto edged 3.38 per cent and 4.61 per cent higher.

Ocado was this afternoon’s biggest faller, down 3.24 per cent, as it takes legal action against Islington Council over its reversal of approval for use of a site in Tufnell Park.

In a court document, Tufnell Park residents cited concerns about the effects of the development on noise, light and other pollution. Schoolchildren gathered outside the High Court this morning to protest against Ocado.

Meanwhile Just Eat dipped 1.22 per cent. AJ Bell’s investment director Russ Mould noted these “long-term growth plays” like Ocado and the takeaway app are lagging alongside consumer staples companies.

“This may be down to investors’ ongoing quest to find angles on how to play the economic upturn that they think will follow the pandemic, it may be down to US Treasury Secretary Yellen’s off-the-cuff remarks about how interest rates may need to rise at some stage and it may be down to gathering signs that inflation may be coming and not just temporarily. It may be down to a combination of all three,” he said.

US stocks higher on strong economic data

Wall Street opened higher this afternoon after its growth stocks bounced back from a selloff on Tuesday. Some of the big tech stocks stumbled in the previous session, dragging down the Nasdaq and S&P 500 indices.

Tech firms including Apple, Microsoft, Amazon and Facebook all rose between 0.1 per cent 1.7 per cent this afternoon.

The benchmark S&P 500 rose 0.33 per cent while the Dow Jones is up 127 points to 34,260 points, a new record high.

The tech-heavy Nasdaq climbed 2.12 per cent to 15,170 points.

Investors have been buoyed by a solid set of jobs data, further indicating the economy has gained further momentum in the second quarter as the vaccine rollout picks up.

Private payrolls rose by 742,000 jobs last month, the largest gain in seven months, according to the ADP National Employment Report published today.

The rise in hiring was across the board, with the leisure and hospitality sector adding 237,000 jobs. Manufacturers hired 55,000 workers and payrolls in the construction sector increased by 41,000 jobs.