Talk of Hong Kong preparing to reintroduce strict social distancing rules amid a new Covid flare-up has spooked investors in Asia, with the Hang Seng index falling 1%. It was the outlier among an otherwise positive day for markets across Europe and Asia, including a 0.5% rise in the FTSE 100 to 7,611.
The UK market was driven by miners, oil producers, financials and utilities, helped by well-received figures from BP.
“Recently promoted to the FTSE 100, Airtel Africa sank by 10% after a chunk of shares were sold by big investors at a discount to last night’s closing price,” said AJ Bell’s Russ Mould.
“Inflation figures from the US on Thursday will be a major influence on the direction of markets as the figures will be digested by the Federal Reserve in its next decision on whether to raise interest rates or not. With expectations that inflationary pressures are going to get worse in the near-term, markets could get jittery as we approach the data release.”