The FTSE 100 jumped through the 7,000 level for the first time since February 2020, rising 0.4% to 7,013.
This represents a massive milestone in recovering from the terrible pandemic and shows how investors’ confidence has completely changed since just over a year ago.
The market was understandably shocked as the coronavirus gripped the world but in true investor style it has quickly focused on the future and the ability for corporate earnings to recover.
FTSE 100 miners and oil producers were in demand on Friday following new data that showed China’s economy jumped by 18.3% in the first quarter of 2021, led by strong industrial output. Household consumption is expected to improve as the year progresses.
“The key issue from the market’s perspective is how quickly stimulus measures will be withdrawn in the country. Officials say it will be a gradual process but not everyone trusts China’s authorities to be true to their word,” says Russ Mould, investment director at AJ Bell.
“The FTSE 250 is also on a roll, having risen by 26% in value over the past six months. This has silenced critics who said there is little to like about the UK stock market.
“Value-style stocks offering jam today rather than jam tomorrow have been in demand, as well as lots of companies well placed to benefit from the reopening of the economy thanks to the rollout of the Covid vaccines.
“Friday’s session was dominated by industrials, financials and utilities leading the way, helping to push the FTSE 250 up another 0.3% to 22,539. Key movers included Mitie, whose shares have more than doubled in price in the past six months.
“Mitie was previously seen as a pandemic loser. Many people thought the working from home trend could result in reduced commercial property demand, affecting one of its key services in cleaning offices. Investors now appear to be taking the view that this threat has been overplayed.”