London’s FTSE 100 is up 0.8% today, hitting its highest level since February last year, boosted by rising mining and banking stocks. While in New York, the S&P 500 also hit a record high.
The blue-chip index was boosted by stocks including Anglo American, which rose 1.5% after the company said it would spin off its thermal coal assets in South Africa.
The FTSE 100 has seen strong growth this year, driven by rapid vaccine rollouts and renewed economic optimism.
UK firms sharply increased their recruitment and offered higher wages to new hires last month as confidence in the country’s Covid recovery surged.
Meanwhile, the mid-cap FTSE 250 advanced further to new records, climbing another 0.2% from yesterday’s high.
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The top gainers in the FTSE 100 were Johnson Matthey and Just Eat Takeaway, which rose 5.6 percent and 4.5 percent by the end of the day, respectively.
The losers were Aviva and Prudential, each losing 3%.
Equities in Europe also hit record highs, fueled by optimism in the UK over easing market restrictions and favorable outlooks from the Fed and the European Central Bank.
The European Stoxx 600 Top Companies Index rose 0.44%, right after a high of 436.66 reached earlier in the session.
“This looks good as the estimates in Europe are much lower than in the US, so there is potentially more upside potential. The line of least resistance is higher for European markets, ”said Michael Hewson, chief market analyst at CMC Markets.
“As for the economic recovery, there is enough optimism at the moment to push the markets up a bit, and the Fed has confirmed that it will be on hold for a while,” Hewson said.
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Wall street rises higher
The S&P 500 closed at an all-time high on Thursday as US Treasury yields plunged on softer-than-expected labor market data, pushing tech and other stocks higher.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 57.77 points, or 0.17 percent, to 33,504.03, the S&P 500 added 17.27 points, or 0.42 percent, to 4097.22, and the Nasdaq Composite added 141. 30 points, or 1.03 percent, to 13,830.14.
The recent decline in profitability has helped high-growth companies such as the tech sectors, which posted the biggest gains in the session. Megacap stocks such as Apple, Microsoft and Amazon had the biggest impact on the S&P 500.
Tech stocks rebounded in recent sessions as US 10-year bond yields fell from a 14-month high, bringing the tech Nasdaq to within two percent of its all-time high.
The latest data showed that the number of Americans filing new jobless claims rose unexpectedly last week, but that increase likely underestimates the rapidly improving labor market conditions.
“As states balance vaccine introduction with plans to shut down and restart jobs, the job market continues to feel heated,” said Mike Loewengart, managing director of investment strategy at E * TRADE Financial.
“But a disappointing reading actually lends some firepower to the Fed’s flexible stance.”
The Fed acknowledged the economy is on track for a strong recovery, supported by huge fiscal spending and accelerated vaccinations, minutes released Wednesday showed. However, the central bank said it will take “some time” before conditions improve enough for the Fed to curb its support.
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