The FTSE 100 Index closed at its highest level for nearly six months today after a multibillion-dollar stimulus package from the US Federal Reserve sent stocks soaring.
London’s top tier powered 95.6 points ahead to 5,915.6 – a 1.6% rise – as the Fed cheered investors with its third round of quantitative easing.
The Fed’s move inspired an appetite for risk among traders with miners filling the risers board, while Britain’s banks also enjoyed a decent run.
Copper giant Kazakhmys topped the Footsie with a 14% surge, adding 93p to 773p, while Vedanta Resources was 128.5p higher at £10.90 and Evraz was up 34.3p at 293.7p.
Barclays rose 11.1p to 229.1p in the banking sector, while Lloyds Banking Group was 1.1p ahead at 40p and HSBC rose 16.3p to 584.4p.
Royal Bank of Scotland was 2% ahead as it fired the starting gun on its flotation of Direct Line Group. Shares were up 5.1p at 279p.
Pharmaceutical stocks fell out of favour as investors ditched more defensive investments, with GlaxoSmithKline falling 22p to 1,417.5p, AstraZeneca losing 19.5p to £28.93 and Reckitt Benckiser dropping 62p to £35.72.
In a session of slim pickings for corporate results, pubs group JD Wetherspoon took centre stage with full-year profits of £58.9million, a drop of 4.1%. Shares jumped 3%, up 15.1p to 475.7p.
The biggest Footsie risers included Eurasian Natural Resources, up 35.7p to 363.2p.
Among the biggest Footsie fallers were BSkyB down 24p to 720p and BT Group down 3.8p to 233p.
Elaine McLachlan, of investment manager and financial planning specialist Brewin Dolphin in Inverness, noted that risers included Anglo Pacific, rising 5.4% to 280.9p, while Weir Group gained 5.4% to £18.25.
Fallers included Plexus Holdings, off 3.2% at 138.5p, Wolfson Microelectronics, down 1.9% at 220.5p, and IndigoVision shedding 0.85% to 349.5p.