Monday 8 February 2021 7:16 pm

US markets surge to a record and FTSE starts the week on a high

Wall Street’s main indexes have just hit record highs at the open today.

US investors have made risky bets on hopes that a fiscal relief package would lead to a speedy economic recovery.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average is trading up 0.43 per cent to 31,279, a new high. The S&P 500 rose 13.4 points, or 0.34 per cent, to 3,900​, while the Nasdaq jumped 0.54 per cent to 13,930.

Investors were keeping an eye on bitcoin as it rose again, with Elon Musk promising Tesla would soon take payment for its electric vehicles in the currency and revealing it had already bought $1.5 billion worth of it.

Benchmark US Treasury yields surged to 11-month highs as the US fiscal stimulus was seen boosting economic growth and raising inflation more quickly than expected, and before the Treasury Department sells new longer-dated debt.

The Reddit rally looks to be coming to a long-awaited end with Gamestop trading down nearly seven per cent to $59.11 while fellow meme stock AMC Entertainment plunged 11.2 per cent to $6.05 per share.

Meanwhile, London markets started the week on the right foot, bringing the FTSE three-session losing streak to an end.

The FTSE 100 by the close was up 0.7 per cent to 6,533.

Investor sentiment has turned positiuve of a global economic recovery from the pandemic and renewed optimism over US stimulus plans.

The FTSE 250 was up 0.1 per cent to 21,087, gaining for a sixth straight day.

Cautious optimism

The underlying headlines were grabbed by the AstraZeneca jab’s seeming inability to protect against the South African variant of Covid-19.

This news was given a positive spin, however, with the Anglo-Swedish drug giant seeking to develop a booster by autumn.

Miners dig deep for gains

Miners were the biggest gainers on the FTSE 100.

Shares in Anglo American were up 4.6 per cent to 2,598p.

Evraz shares increased 4.1 per cent to 523p, while BHP ticked up 3.4 per cent to 2,114p.

“The UK commodities are higher this morning, which is tied into the hopes that a $1.9 trillion US stimulus package is going to passed without the help of Republicans. I think that is the underlying market driver,” said Connor Campbell, analyst at Spreadex.


Elsewhere, Asian stock markets rose, buoyed by the growing pace of vaccine rollouts and falling rates of coronavirus infection.

The Asian mood was upbeat as all major indexes clocked gains as shares hovered near record highs.