Wall Street opened higher this morning as investors were boosted by news that President Joe Biden’s $1 trillion infrastructure bill had safely passed through the Senate.
The blue-chip S&P 500 edged up 0.17 per cent to 4,439 points, while the Dow Jones climbed 0.5 per cent to 35,278 points.
Tech shares lost ground as investors piled into cyclicals and industrial stocks on news that the bill had secured a majority vote in the Senate, driving the Nasdaq down 0.42 per cent to 14,796.
Danni Hewson, financial analyst at AJ Bell, said: “Wall Street markets are in flux as President Joe Biden’s infrastructure bill has finally faced the music.”
“It’s a huge investment and a huge victory for the Biden administration but it’s not the end of the story and the bill now faces a difficult path as it negotiates its way through the House.”
Yields on 10-year Treasuries rose to 1.34 per cent as bond traders await latest US inflation data due to be tomorrow.
FTSE 100 creeps up to one-month high
The FTSE 100 edged higher today to hit a one-month high as global markets shurgged off nerves over the potential impact rising numbers of new Covid cases in Asia could have on the economic recovery.
London’s premier index gained 0.4 per cent today to reach 7,161 points, while the domestically-focused FTSE 250 of midcaps closed up 0.51 per cent at 23,572 points.
The increases came after a lacklustre start to the week yesterday, with declines in global commodities prices weighing on London’s markets.
The pound lost ground on the dollar, falling 0.09 per cent to buy $1.38.
Hewson said: “Confidence seems to be the overriding factor pushing the UK’s more domestically focussed index up.”
“Continued interest in UK equities from foreign investors will also be a factor with investors becoming hyper aware that many firms are still undervalued particularly when compared with their US counterparts.”
Winners and losers
Dragging the FTSE higher today was gambling giant Flutter, which shot up 7.81 per cent to 13,950p after beating analyst expectations for its first half results.
Revenue at the firm came in at £3bn for the period, ahead of the £2.7bn forecast by analysts.
Publisher Informa came second among the biggest risers of the day, rising 4.72 per cent to 532p, while housebuilder Taylor Whimpey ranked third, up 2.47 per cent to 178.50p.
In the red column, M&G closed down sharply, dipping 3.07 per cent to 230.80p.
Newly branded Abrdn lost 2.32 per cent to drop to 290.80p after its asset under management growth came in below analysts’ expectations.
On the FTSE 250, engineerer Babcock led the day’s risers, climbing 7.03 per cent to 307.50p.
Neil Wilson, chief markets analyst at Markets.com, said: “Equity markets seem content to trade broadly sideways as investors balanced the ongoing economic recovery with potential worries about delta, inflation and tapering by the Fed.”
Around the world
Shares in the East all put themselves firmly in positive territory in overnight trading despite concerns that Chinese authorities are set to clampdown on a surge in Covid cases.
China’s CSI 300 rose 1.16 per cent and Japan’s Nikkei 0.24 per cent. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng shot up 1.23 per cent.
London’s strong performance was extended into Europe – the Stoxx 600 added 0.36 per cent today.