LONDON, June 3 ― London’s FTSE 100 index climbed yesterday, helped by gains in heavyweight energy and banking stocks, while Bloomsbury Publishing jumped on a robust earnings report.
The blue-chip index rose 0.4 per cent, with oil majors BP and Royal Dutch Shell climbing 1.9 per cent and 2.2 per cent respectively, as crude prices extended gains.
Banks, including HSBC, Prudential Plc, Lloyds Banking Group and Barclays also provided the biggest boosts to the index.
The domestically focused mid-cap FTSE 250 index advanced 0.3 per cent, touching a record high.
Bloomsbury Publishing surged 11.3 per cent as the Harry Potter publisher declared a special dividend and lifted its targets for the current year, as strong book sales during lockdowns drove a 22 per cent surge in its annual earnings.
“An upbeat assessment of demand from producers’ cartel Opec and the waning prospect of a big increase in Iranian supply have helped support a rally in crude prices. Something which could make the market a little nervous if it is sustained given investors’ current preoccupation with inflation risks,” said Danni Hewson, financial analyst at AJ Bell.
The FTSE 100 index has traded in a tight range since April as concerns grew that central banks might pare support early as economies reopen and inflation climbs.
British mortgage lending slumped in April as a government decision to prolong a tax break on property sales came too late to influence buyers that month, but housing market activity looks on course to rebound, Bank of England data showed.
Global stock markets hovered near record highs despite wary investors remaining unconvinced by central bank assurances that the current inflation upsurge is transient.
Among other stocks, Tate & Lyle rose 2.5 per cent, after Berenberg upgraded the food ingredients maker’s stock to “buy” on prospects of a business split.
Burberry Group jumped 3.5 per cent to the top of the FTSE 100 index after Exane BNP Paribas upgraded the stock to “outperform” from “neutral”. ― Reuters