The rebound for London shares continued today after China’s first cut in interest rates in four years triggered a surge for mining stocks.
Fresh from a 2% jump yesterday amid optimism that Europe will offer support to Spain’s banking sector, the FTSE 100 Index leapt by as much as 100 points after Beijing’s quarter point rates cut boosted global demand hopes.
However, the rally was tempered by US Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke, whose failure to hint at further stimulus measures during a testimony before US Congress caused the top flight to pare gains and close up 63.7 points at 5,447.8.
The Bank of England also kept the City guessing over more quantitative easing after opting to keep its programme unchanged at £325billion.
Banks were cheered by the developments in Spain, with Lloyds Banking Group up 0.95p to 28p, Barclays ahead 5.05p to 192.85p and Royal Bank of Scotland 11.2p higher at 224.4p.
With the commodity sector given a lift on hopes that China is now focused on growth rather than rising inflation, Rio Tinto improved 115.5p to £30.15 and Xstrata added 28.2p to 966.8p.
Elsewhere in the top flight, Johnson Matthey was nearly 5% higher – up £1.07 at £23.04 – after it capped a 58% jump in full-year profits to £409.3million by awarding investors a special dividend worth £212million, or £1 a share.
It was joined on the FTSE 100 risers board by luxury goods group Burberry, which climbed 68p to £13.92 in the wake of a broker’s upgrade from Credit Suisse.
Further signs of resilience in the property market – Halifax reported slight growth in UK prices – cheered housebuilders in the FTSE 250 Index.
Barratt Developments added 7.2p to 127.8p, Bovis Homes rose 19.5p to 422.5p and Persimmon lifted 33.5p to 586.5p, a rise of 6%.
David Barclay, of investment manager and financial planning specialist Brewin Dolphin in Aberdeen, highlighted Faroe Petroleum gaining 3.55% to 160.625p, Premier Oil adding 1.84% to 359.9p and Hunting up 1.57% at 808.75p.
Parkmead Group lost 1.85% to 12.75p and Weir Group was off 1.41% at £14.64.