The FTSE 100 was playing catch up after the Easter break, enjoying strong gains after global stocks rallied hard on Monday, supported by strong US and Chinese economic data, says AJ Bell financial analyst Danni Hewson.
“The S&P 500 in the US reached another record level overnight – an occurrence so regular it no longer feels like such a milestone but a catalyst for improved sentiment nonetheless.
“Also helping the index was news from index heavyweight BP that it expects to hit its net debt target ahead of schedule – raising the prospect of more generous returns to shareholders.
“Travel stocks moved higher despite tourism chiefs voicing some disappointment with the plans announced for international travel from the UK yesterday.
“The rest of the week could see markets struggle for direction with relatively few big corporate announcements on the horizon.
“Given investors’ current understandable obsession with what will happen next on inflation and interest rates – tomorrow’s release of minutes from the latest meeting of the US Federal Reserve are likely to be closely followed to get a sense of the central bank’s current thinking on monetary policy.
“For the same reason the panel attended by Federal Reserve chair Jay Powell looks the stand out event at the spring meetings of the International Monetary Fund and World Bank.
“The fall-out from the Archegos family office affair continues – with Credit Suisse eye-catchingly announcing multi-billion dollar losses and the departure of key executives – but for now seems to be contained for the most part to those parties directly caught up in it, with limited signs of wider contagion.”