London markets jump higher ahead of central bank meetings
Global markets climbed higher ahead of the latest updates from central banks in the UK and US.
Traders in London were calm and confident ahead of Thursday’s Bank of England update, with analysts expecting rates to be held.
The FTSE 100 closed 102.39 points, or 1.47%, higher at 7,083.37 on Wednesday.
Danni Hewson, AJ Bell financial analyst, said: “Central banks have the power to shake and stir markets, so it probably says something about exactly what investors are expecting to hear from both the Fed later today and the Bank of England tomorrow that both London and Wall Street seem positively upbeat.
“Taper tantrums and rate rise ripples look to be on the backburner and fears of an imminent Evergrande collapse have also abated somewhat.
“The FTSE 100 has sailed happily above the 7,000 mark thanks to a really positive showing from miners helped by healthier commodity prices.”
Europe’s other leading markets also made positive strides after shaking off concerns about Evergrande from earlier in the week.
The German Dax increased by 0.93% and the French Cac moved 1.2% higher
In the US, traders continued their return to picking up stocks from Tuesday, as the markets were aided by gains for Uber and MGM Resorts.
Meanwhile, sterling wavered earlier in the day due to concerns over the UK’s exposure to soaring gas prices but made gains against a soft dollar amid caution ahead of the Fed meeting.
The pound was up 0.16% versus the US dollar at 1.366 and was 0.14% higher against the euro at 1.164.
In company news, leisure group Ten Entertainment saw shares rise after it upped its full-year outlook as the trend for staycations amid the pandemic drove its best summer season.
The company, which runs 10-pin bowling lanes and soft play centres, said sales surged 22.5% in the first six weeks since reopening on May 17 and then rocketed by 42% in the 11 weeks since June 27.
Shares climbed by 13p to 268p on Wednesday as a result.
Elsewhere, Oxford Biomedica made gains after it said Covid-19 vaccine manufacturing contracts helped revenues more than double over the first half of 2021.
Shares in the gene and cell therapy group rose by 156p to 1,634p after it also announced an investment from vaccine developer Serum Institute of India worth £50 million.
Soap manufacturer PZ Cussons shares dipped after it said it lost some of the gains its hygiene products, including Carex, made in the early days of the pandemic.
It finished the session 10.5p lower at 220p.
The price of oil also rebounded further as smaller OPEC producers struggle to increase output and US inventories declined by more than expected.
Brent crude increased by 1.64% to 75.58 dollars per barrel.
The biggest risers on the FTSE 100 were Antofagasta, up 91.5p at 1,420.5p, Entain, up 116p at 2,377p, Standard Chartered, up 19.4p at 429.4p, and HSBC, up 15.65p at 375.4p.
The biggest fallers of the day were Severn Trent, down 42p at 2,775p, Kingfisher, down 4.9p at 345p, United Utilities, down 13.5p at 1,030.5p, and National Grid, down 10.7p at 947p.