The bull run gathered pace yesterday as traders eager to get a hold on the rising market drove the FTSE 100 to a five-year high.
The top flight shrugged off a quiet morning and some downbeat consumer data from Spain and the US to close 44.8 points higher at 6,339.2, its highest level since early 2008.
Chris Beauchamp, a market analyst at IG, said: “It seems as if there is little can hold back this rally for the time being. Each drop back, however small, seems to be taken as an invite for more investors to clamber on board for the next move higher.”
With investors convinced that the world economy is picking up, commodity stocks were among the biggest blue-chip risers. Copper miner Kazakhmys added 21.5p to 766.5p, while Anglo American was 57p higher at 1,929.5p after a £2.5 billion write-off on the value of a delayed Brazilian mining project.
Shares in Britain’s biggest supermarket Tesco gained 1 per cent, up 5.3p to 361.3p, after new figures showed it had outpaced its three main rivals with the best sales growth of the “big four” grocers.
Royal Bank of Scotland was the biggest top-flight faller, with shares down 6 per cent or 22p to 345.8p amid reports it is under pressure to settle Libor-rigging allegations by pleading guilty to criminal charges in the US in addition to a £500 million penalty.
Lloyds was also lower, down 1.2p to 51.9p following a downgrade of both state-backed lenders by broker Espirito Santo. It said Lloyds and RBS are two of the most expensive stocks in its Europe-wide coverage.
UK retailer Carpetright was lower after it reported tough trading conditions in the Netherlands, where it has 95 stores. Shares lost 8p at 675p despite like-for-like UK sales growth.
NEW YORK: Sstocks advanced on Wall Street last night, led by defensive sectors, in a sign the cash piles recently moving into the market are being put to use by cautious investors to pick up more gains.
The Dow Jones industrial average gained 72.87 points, or 0.52 per cent, to close at 13,954.80 while the broader Standard & Poor’s 500 Index gained 7.70 points, or 0.51 per cent, ending on 1,507.88. The Nasdaq Composite Index finished up 0.64 points, or 0.02 per cent, at 3,153.66.