London markets jumped today driven higher by a strong rally among industrial stocks.
The capital’s premier FTSE 100 index closed 0.81 per cent higher at 7,551.72 points, while the domestically-focused FTSE 250 index, which is more aligned to the health of the UK economy, squeezed out 0.08 per cent of gains to reach 23,047.16 points.
The blue-chip FTSE 100 is now at its highest level since the onset of the Covid-19 crisis.
Miners led the day’s gains in London today, with Chilean firm Antofagasta topping the biggest risers’ column by soaring 7.49 per cent.
Meanwhile, BHP, Glencore and Anglo American all lined the top performers’ table, rising more than 3.40 per cent collectively.
Bullish outlooks on the commodities sector from the world’s largest investment banks prompted investor sentiment toward the sector to strengthen sharply.
On Wednesday, Goldman Sachs urged clients to increase exposure to commodities and commodity stocks.
Retailers shot up again today, building on mid-week gains triggered by upbeat data on the sector.
Supermarket Sainsbury’s led the sector’s gains, closing 3.11 per cent higher, after it posted a bumper set of results for the Christmas period.
The strong trading figures demonstrated “that for all the doom and gloom surrounding the UK economy, and the current restrictions, consumers remain resilient,” Michael Hewson, chief market analyst at CMC Markets UK, said.
The pound soared against the greenback, strengthening 0.48 per cent to buy $1.37.