London markets rebounded from a poor day yesterday, led higher by investor sentiment toward retailers strengthening after a strong Christmas trading period.
The capital’s premier FTSE 100 index climbed 0.39 per cent to 7,474.07 points, while the mid-cap FTSE 250 index, which is more aligned to the health of the UK economy, added 0.59 per cent to reach 23,136.82 points.
A string of upbeat data released today illustrating British retailers’ had fared well over the Christmas period despite the rapid spread of the Omicron variant triggered investors to pour into the sector.
Retail sales in December climbed 2.1 per cent compared with the previous year and were 4.6 per cent higher than in 2019, before the start of the pandemic, according to figures from the British Retail Consortium and consultancy KPMG.
Consumer spending was also up 12.2 per cent compared to pre-pandemic levels, according to Barclaycard.
Among the best performers on the FTSE 100 included fashion retailer Next, climbing 3.84 per cent, while JD Sports added 1.69 per cent.
London’s strong performance came in contrast to a choppy day on Wall Street that saw the tech-heavy Nasdaq fall as much as 2.7 per cent during the day, only to close marginally up.
Neil Wilson, chief market analyst at Markets.com, said: “European stock markets are firmer in early trade on Tuesday after a turbulent session on Wall Street saw tech stocks stage a late fightback following a steep decline. Buy the dip lives!”
Meanwhile, on the FTSE 250, Darktrace led the morning’s gains, soaring as much as 20 per cent during the opening session after the Cambridge-based cybersecurity firm posted a bumper set of results.
The pound gained ground on the greenback, strengthening 0.2 per cent to buy $1.3601.