Global stock markets were a bit calmer today, allowing investors who have been involved in a series of severely volatile sessions since Russia sent troops into Ukraine to breathe a sigh of relief.
The capital’s premier FTSE 100 index inched 0.07 per cent higher to close at 6,964.11 points, while the FTSE 250 index, which is more aligned with the health of the UK economy, added 0.25 per cent to reach 19,217.62 points.
London’s indexes registered one of their most volatile days since the start of the pandemic on Monday, with the FTSE 100 and 250 each falling around three per cent during opening exchanges, before paring back some of their losses.
A sharp rise in energy prices as investors fretted over the possibility of the US and European countries imposing an embargo on Russian oil in a bid to ramp up sanctions on Moscow had plagued markets.
A more muted day played out on the Continent as well.
France’s Cac 40 fell 0.32 per cent, while Germany’s Dax 30 edged down 0.02 per cent.
The pan-European Stoxx 600 dipped 0.5 per cent.
The pound gained ground on the greenback, strengthening as much as 0.2 per cent to buy $1.3128 in a sign investors’ risk appetite is returning after they poured into the dollar and other safe assets to limit their exposure to the economic fallout of the Russia-Ukraine war.
Russian gold miner Polymetal International lost even more ground today, finishing as the day’s worst share on the FTSE 100 after losing over 46 per cent.
Wall Street opened sharply higher, with the S&P 500 gaining 1.15 per cent.