Wall Street opened higher today to breach record highs once again driven by a string of strong earnings reports.
The S&P 500 came out of the blocks quickly to hit an all-time high, but fell back slightly to rise 0.06 per cent to 4,463.75 points in the early afternoon session.
Similarly, the Dow Jones sped out of the gates and also hit a record high. However, the blue-chip index pared back gains and was up 0.08 per cent to 35,529.46 points in the early afternoon. The tech-heavy Nasdaq edged higher.
The gains were driven by Disney as investors piled into the entertainment company’s shares after it posted better-than-expected results yesterday.
Yields on 10-year Treasuries inched down to 1.30 per cent.
FTSE 100 registers best week since November
The FTSE 100 posted its best performance since November and has now risen for four consecutive weeks.
London’s premier index added 0.35 per cent to hit 7,218.71 to end the week on a high, driven higher by strong performances among industrial stocks.
The domestically focused FTSE 250 trailed higher, rising 0.18 per cent to close the day at 23,788.45 points. The mid-cap index briefly touched a record high in the afternoon, before paring back gains.
AIM shares fell 0.36 per cent to 1,266.26 points, but ended the week higher.
The pound gained ground on the dollar, rising 0.45 per cent to buy $1.3870.
Craig Erlam, senior market analyst at OANDA Europe, said: “Good earnings and a strong vaccine program that has enabled looser restrictions, while reducing the threat of them being strictly reimposed later in the year are driving the gains. The outlook is very encouraging for Europe and we’re seeing that reflected in the indices. Of course, after such a strong run and going into a quieter period, there is the possibility that we could see some profit taking in the coming weeks.”
Babcock was the chief architect of the mid-cap index’s rise, surging 6.39 per cent after it announced the sale of one of its businesses for £293m.
Winners and losers
Real estate investor Segro led the FTSE’s biggest risers, climbing 2.19 per cent to 1,262p after a spate of analysts recommended investors to buy shares in the firm.
Miner Polymetal International added 1.92 per cent to hit 1,510.10p, while energy supplier SSE ranked third, up 1.75 per cent to close the week at 1,625p.
The blue-chip index was weighed down by weak financial services stocks. Insurer Phoenix was the worst performer on the day, with the stock shaving 4.10 per cent off its share price over the course of the week.
Hargreaves Lansdown continued to plummet after a torrid week for the company. Its shares slipped 1.69 per cent to plunge to 1,486.50p. Over the course of the week, Hargreaves’ share price has fallen 3.57 per cent.
Miner Evraz was down 1.61 per cent to end the week at 588.40p
Around the world
In Europe, stocks also edged higher, with the German Dax breaching 16,000 points for the first time.
The pan-European Stoxx 600 index inched up 0.22 per cent to reach 475.87 points. The index hit another record high during the session.
But despite the positive moves, anxiety about the combination of new cases of the Delta variant of Covid and the growing likelihood that central bankers will begin to withdraw their support sooner than expected is still weighing on markets.
Brent crude has fallen by 0.83 per cent so far today after a report from the International Energy Agency (IEA) sharply revised down demand expectations.