Investors’ fears over the Omicron variant of coronavirus derailing the global recovery from the pandemic have seemingly receded over the weekend, lifting London markets during the opening bell today.
The capital’s premier FTSE 100 index climbed nearly one per cent to 7,188.24 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 0.76 per cent to reach 22,818.18 points.
Analysts pointed to data emerging on the new variant indicating it is unlikely to be as deadly as first fears.
Michael Hewson, chief market analyst at CMC Markets UK, said: “While still early days, the evidence continues to support the notion that while Omicron is more transmissible it doesn’t appear to be more deadly with no deaths currently reported because of the virus.”
Oil giant BP was one of the best performers in the City, rising over two per cent, helping to lift the FTSE 100.
BP represents an enormous share of the blue-chip index meaning movements in its share price exert a heavy influence over the direction of the FTSE 100.
Miners were also one of the shining lights in London. Anglo American, Antofagasta and Glencore all jumped more than 1.85 per cent.
On mid-cap FTSE 250 index, shipping company Clarkson hovered near the top of the risers column after it published results showing profits came in higher than expected.
The pound gained ground on the greenback, strengthening 0.18 per cent to $1.3256.