“It’s a firm risk-on mood for investors as equities rise across Europe and Asia,” says Russ Mould, investment director at AJ Bell. “The FTSE 100 jumped 1.5% to 5,737, led by miners, oil producers, financials and consumer cyclicals. HSBC, Rio Tinto and BP were the biggest contributors in terms of index points.
“Investors seem to be pricing in a victory by Joe Biden in the US Presidential Election and anticipation is high that he will have a more favourable trade policy with China and the EU. This factor together with a weaker dollar favour the commodities space.
“Only three stocks in the FTSE 100 were in negative territory – Associated British Foods on a decision not to restart its dividend and a cautious near-term view; Just Eat Takeaway giving up some of yesterday’s gains when investors were looking for potential lockdown winners; and telecoms group BT which was only down by a very small amount.
“Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index soared by 2%, following the same pattern as the FTSE 100 with commodities and financials leading the way.
“Brent Crude oil futures jumped by nearly 5% to $39.66, clawing back some of the recent losses.
“The pound strengthened 0.3% to $1.2961 against the US dollar, helping to give some support to the FTSE 250 index which has a strong focus on UK domestic companies. The index advanced 1.4% to 17,426, led by housebuilder Crest Nicholson which soared 17.5% after saying earnings would be significantly ahead of forecasts.”