Investors continue to be bullish about the Omicron variant posing little threat to the global recovery from the pandemic, lifting London markets today.
The capital’s premier FTSE 100 index shot up 1.13 per cent to 7,314.33 points during the first hour of trading.
The mid-cap FTSE 250 index, which is more aligned to the health of the UK economy, added one per cent, reaching 23,111.23 points.
Analysts were upbeat on the Omicron situation, but were at pains to stress more information is needed to decipher what threat it poses.
“Suggestions the new Covid strain might only trigger mild symptoms are prompting relief among investors and helping travel stocks take off – however given the typical gap between infection and hospitalisation with coronavirus it remains early days in our understanding of just how virulent Omicron is,” said Russ Mould, investment director at AJ Bell.
Housebuilders pushed the blue-chip index higher after Halifax’s latest house price index showed property prices are climbing at the fastest pace in 15 years.
Taylor Wimpey advanced over two per cent, while Barratt Developments gained 0.81 per cent and Persimmon climbed 0.91 per cent.
Pharmaceutical giant AstraZeneca was the worst performer on the FTSE 100, dropping 1.85 per cent, followed by discount retailer B&M Bargains.
The pound was flat against the dollar.