Mining companies dominated a healthy stock exchange in London on Wednesday as the FTSE 100 pushed back above 7,000 points.
The index’s top performing shares were dominated by Anglo American, BHP, Rio Tinto, Glencore and Evraz at market close, as copper prices hit another 10-year high earlier in the day.
It saw the top companies in London rebound from an unusual midday crash that analysts said had no obvious cause on Tuesday.
The index closed at 7,039.3, a rise of 1.7% or 116 points, making it the best day of trading since the middle of February.
“Basic resource stocks are leading the way today with the likes of Anglo American, BHP and Rio Tinto benefiting from the continued rise in copper prices,” said CMC Markets analyst Michael Hewson.
He added: “Irish construction giant CRH has seen its share trade up at new record highs as optimism over the upcoming US infrastructure stimulus plan helped to underpin the shares. The US is one of CRH’s biggest markets.”
The rise in London was mirrored across the English channel where the Paris-based Cac index closed up 2.1% and the Dax in Frankfurt rose 1.4%.
However US markets were unable to keep up with the strong growth in Europe. The S&P 500 had added only 0.3% by the afternoon UK time, while the Dow Jones was trading up 0.2%.
Jobs figures out of the US had proved less positive than expected on Wednesday.
The pound rose against both the euro and the dollar. It gained 0.2% and now buys 1.391 dollars and 0.3% against the euro, buying 1.1594.
The price of Brent crude oil also rose, by 1.4% to 69.87 dollars per barrel.
Fashion retailer Boohoo said on Wednesday that revenue had jumped 41% due to a massive spike in online shopping during the pandemic. Yet shares closed down 2.5% as the company issued guidance below what the market was expecting.
ITV’s report that it was “cautiously optimistic” about the recovery over the next year rubbed off on shareholders, who helped send the company’s shares up 2.5%.
Direct Line reported a nearly 11% drop in its motor business due to a drop in new car sales and a fall in the number of new drivers. Shares fell 0.1%.
Hiscox, on the other hand, saw a 6.3% rise in premiums in the year to the end of March, but its shares dropped 1.4%.
The biggest risers on the FTSE 100 were Anglo American, up 193.5p to 3,270.5p, CRH, up 183p to 3,607p, BHP, up 109.5p to 2,306p, Rio Tinto, up 290p to 6,408p, and Glencore, up 13.7p to 309.9p.
The biggest fallers on the FTSE 100 were Ocado, down 42p to 1,962p, Land Securities, down 12.6p to 718.6p, Avast, down 6.7p to 455.9p, Just Eat Takeaway.com, down 89p to 7,181p, and Hikma, down 23p to 2,337p.