The LONDON stock market posted gains for the third day in a row due to vaccine rollouts, stronger-than-expected economic performance and good performance stats that have spurred investors.
The FTSE 100 has surpassed 6,900 and could surpass the psychologically important 7,000 mark in a matter of days, analysts said as optimism grips the still largely deserted city.
Today the premier index is up 20 points to 6905, up from 5580 in October last year.
That rise of 1,300 points is roughly equivalent to £ 325 billion in value added to major foreign and domestic stocks, including most pension funds.
The KPMG report said there was a “significant increase in hiring activity” in March, as “increased market confidence” led to an increase in job vacancies and starting wages for new jobs.
Amid previous chatter that interest rates could soon rise, triggering a shift from stocks to bonds, the US authorities denied this possibility.
Danny Hewson, financial analyst at AJ Bell, said: “The latest data from the US Federal Reserve that it is not going to raise interest rates anytime soon helped the FTSE 100 to rally on Thursday for the third day in a row.”
The IMF joined other voices in forecasting stronger economic recovery in the UK and the US than experts previously expected.
Today, the latest statistics indicate a sharp increase in construction activity. The latest PMI data – a measure of activity – jumped from 53.3 in February to 61.7 in March. This is the six-year maximum.
Gareth Belsham of Naismiths, a consulting firm, said: “The return to a market economy is turning into a boom. February omens were good as new orders began to come in. But March was the month that construction really hit the gas pedal – and now production is skyrocketing across all sectors of the industry. ”
He added: “In response to growing demand, construction firms are turning to help – hiring people and buying materials – and the rate of job creation is now higher than it has been for more than two years.”
The FTSE 250, which has more UK-focused stocks than the larger FTSE 100, hit an all-time high yesterday. Today it has remained stable at 22,160.