MONDAY MARKET CLOSE: London cheered by Chinese stimulus

The banking group are convinced they'll be unaffected by the general election. Picture: PA
The banking group are convinced they'll be unaffected by the general election. Picture: PA
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Miners were back in focus amid relief that Beijing has stepped up stimulus efforts on the back of concerns of a slowdown in the world’s second-largest economy.

Tony Cross, market analyst at Trustnet Direct, said: “The FTSE 100 has started the week in decent shape by rebounding well from Friday’s sell-off, helped along largely by some positive news from China over the weekend. Domestic banks have seen margin restrictions lowered by Beijing, which is fuelling hopes of increased lending, and it’s the base-metal miners that have been the big winners.”

Anglo-American was among the biggest blue-chip risers, adding 27.5p or 2.7 per cent to end the first trading session of the week at 1,038p, while rival Rio Tinto was not far behind, climbing 73p to 2,874p.

The FTSE 100 Index closed up 57.5 points at 7,052.13, having fallen by a similar amount on Friday due to fears of a Greek debt default. Athens may run out of money on Friday unless it makes progress on talks with the International Monetary Fund, but this uncertainty was taken in the stride of investors as China moved to allow banks to lend out a higher proportion of their deposits..

Financial stocks with operations in the region also did well, with HSBC rising 13.3p or 2.2 per cent to 613.3p and Standard Chartered gaining 10.5p to close at 1,060.5p. Prudential was 23.5p higher at 1,660p.

But Lloyds Banking Group dipped 0.16p to 78.59p after George Osborne said at the weekend that a Conservative government would sell shares in the part-nationalised bank to small investors at a 5 per cent discount. The planned public offering includes a promise of extra shares for those investors who hold onto their stock for at least a year.

Elsewhere, shares in Tesco ended the day down 1.7p at 235p as investors await annual results from the supermarket giant on Wednesday.