Just as it was looking as if investors were losing hope, markets have rebounded from weakness earlier this week. The FTSE 100 was up 0.9% to 7,100 as investors piled into airlines and retail stocks, suggesting that the Covid delta variant is no longer considered to be a major concern.
“Associated British Foods bounced back after recent share price weakness, climbing 3.7% following a decent trading update. AO World said its new financial year had started well and PZ Cussons said it is pushing up prices to deal with inflationary pressures,” says Russ Mould, investment director at AJ Bell.
“These nuggets of information are very important to investors as they are act proof that many businesses are holding up as the world returns to normal, and not struggling following the initial post-lockdown boost where pent-up demand saw a widespread spending spree by consumers. It was a similar story yesterday from Dixons which said trading continued to be strong.
“The FTSE 250 jumped by 1% thanks to strength in airlines and property-related stocks such as Grafton and Howden Joinery, both beneficiaries of people doing up their homes.
“In Europe, the Euro Stoxx 50 advanced 1.1% with banks, utilities and energy companies leading the way.
“These strong market gains could serve to fire up investors and help them to regain confidence in equities. The key challenge is to sustain the positive performance as it could only take a few down days on the market for investors to turn gloomy again.”