FTSE 100 posts best week in over a month as economy strengthens

People walk through the lobby of the London Stock Exchange in London, Great Britain, 25 August 2015. REUTERS / Suzanne Plunkett / File Photo

The London FTSE 100 index ended higher on Friday, aided by gains in mining and financial stocks, while a record annual jump in domestic economic performance in April bolstered prospects for a stronger recovery from last year’s pandemic disruption.

The blue chip index (.FTSE) up 0.7%, with precious metal mines (.FTNMX551030) and base metal miners (.FTNMX551020) skyrocketed by 0.7% and 1.8%, respectively, while insurance stocks (.FTNMX303010) increased by 1.3%.

The index rose 0.95% for the week, the largest percentage increase since the week ending May 7th.

Miners including Rio Tinto (RIO.L), Anglo-American (AAL.L), Glencore (GLEN.L) and BHP (BHPB.L) increased between 0.1% and 2.88%.

“The metal price is back above $ 1,900 an ounce and if it can maintain its recent momentum, traders could start targeting last year’s record highs,” said Russ Mold, director at AJ Bell.

The domestic-focused mid-cap index FTSE 250 (.FTMC) 0.6% advanced.

Official data showed that the UK’s recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic accelerated in April as lockdown measures eased, and production was 27.6% higher than a year earlier when the virus was rampant. Continue reading

“It’s all very positive and the markets want to continue to build on it. We expected central banks to do something about inflation, but it doesn’t seem to have done so yet and comes with lower rates, easing restrictions and” more good news, sentiment is up right now, “said Michael Baker, analyst at ETX Capital.

UK indices are up more than 10% so far this year as businesses reopened and the rapid adoption of vaccines fueled sentiment about the economic recovery.

However, they have been trading in a tight range since mid-April amid fears of rising inflation and concerns that a recent resurgence of domestic COVID-19 cases could delay a full economic reopening.

Among other things, the Sanne Group (SNNS.L) rose 8.8% when it decided to start talks with Cinven after the private equity firm made a sweetened £ 1.42 billion ($ 2.01 billion) offer to buy the wealth management services company.

Robert Walters (RWA.L) added 1.7% after forecasting positive pre-tax profit for the year.

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