Thursday 7 January 2021 3:20 pm

FTSE 100 stutters after touching 6,900 but Wall Street pushes on

The FTSE 100 stuttered today after touching 6,900 points this morning in yet another fast open to trading, but US markets traded higher again.

London’s premier index rose 0.8 per cent at the open to stand at 6,903 points, its highest level since before the pandemic.

However, traders soon slammed on the breaks, with the surge seeming to have run out of steam.

By the mid afternoon, the bourse was down 0.1 per cent at 6,834 points.

The drop came after the index gained 3.7 per cent yesterday, continuing its best ever start to a year.

Auto Trader was the biggest faller, down 4.0 per cent, while British Airways owner IAG fell 1.6 per cent.

On the other hand, Sainsbury’s picked up 6.5 per cent after the grocer posted a strong rise in sales over Christmas.

The FTSE 250 of midcaps was flat as of 3pm.

US markets gain on Biden cash hopes

In the US, Wall Street pushed higher on hopes that a Biden presidency could see further economic stimulus packages agreed.

Markets continued their serene progress despite chaos in Washington last night as protestors occupied the US Capitol in fury at Donald Trump’s election loss.

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The rise came after Georgia voted to elect two Democrats to the US Senate, thus flipping the balance of the senior branch of the US legislature towards Joe Biden.

The Dow Jones picked up 0.9 per cent to stand at 31,094 points, while the S&P 500 rose 1.5 per cent to 3,802 points.

Moreover, the tech-heavy Nasdaq shed regained the two per cent it shed yesterday amid concerns that tech giants could face tougher regulation under the new administration.

Richard Hunter, head of markets at Interactive Investor, said: “Sentiment was generally positive on an outcome which is something of a double-edged sword.

“On the one hand, the new balance of power is largely expected to result in increased fiscal stimulus and infrastructure spending, but it may also be accompanied by higher taxes and regulation.

“On the latter, the Nasdaq lost some ground as concerns for the effect on big tech begin to intensify.”  

Around the world, global stocks also pushed up, with Japan’s Nikkei rising to a 30-year high.