London markets are up around one per cent this lunchtime after a surprise interest rate hike from the Bank of England saw Lloyds Bank, Barclays and Natwest shares take off.
The capital’s premier FTSE 100 index was still up 0.99 per cent after the rates call from Threadneedle Street, while the mid-cap FTSE 250 index, which is more aligned to the health of the UK economy, gained over 1.3 per cent.
High street lender Lloyds shot to second place on the FTSE leaderboard this afternoon, now up 5.8 per cent. Rivals Barclays and Natwest were up 4.4 and 3.4 per cent, respectively.
Lenders will likely do well out of the base interest rate hike from the central bank, as they can increase mortgages and the margins they make on them.
Trading started well earlier this morning with one of the best starts the FTSE 100 has posted this week, indicating investors are shaking off concerns over the Omicron variant as they prepare to head into the Christmas period.
Russ Mould, investment director at AJ Bell, said: “Is the Santa Rally finally here? Markets certainly seem to have a spring in their step, with the major indices across Europe, Asia and the US all pushing forward.”
Cambridge-based cybersecurity firm Darktrace was also a star performer on London’s premier index, climbing over six per cent.
Miners, however, dug the foundations for the FTSE’s rise, with the likes of Glencore, Antofagasta and Evraz all up more than 2.40 per cent.
Meanwhile, on the FTSE 250, pizza delivery company Dominos registered a scorcher of a morning, shooting up over 26 per cent after it announced it had resolved a long running franchising dispute.
The pound gained ground on the greenback immeduiately following the interest rate decision, strengthening 0.7 per cent to $1.337.