The FTSE 100 made modest gains on Thursday as a measure of calm returned to stock markets after a volatile start to the New Year, says AJ Bell investment director Russ Mould.
“On a busy day for corporate news, investors were continuing to look past the current difficult situation with the second wave of the coronavirus to the brighter future promised by the roll-out of vaccines.
“Reports of a stream of summer holiday bookings suggest consumers are also looking ahead. In the here and now the retail sector continues to strain under the impact of lockdown 3.0 with Card Factory warning of a covenant breach and Primark-owner Associated British Foods expecting a £1 billion hit associated with the latest Covid restrictions.
“Online retailers and those deemed essential like Tesco and Halfords continue to prosper in relative terms.
“In the US, eyes were also on the future. Incumbent President Donald Trump may have been impeached for a second time but it is his elected successor Joe Biden’s reported plan to unveil a new $2 trillion Covid-19 relief package which is interesting the market.”