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FTSE 100 catches up to US and China after Easter break

The FTSE 100 crept above 6,800 on early Tuesday trading to 6,829.09, up 1.36%.

“The FTSE 100 was playing catch up after the Easter break, enjoying strong gains after global stocks rallied hard on Monday, supported by strong US and Chinese economic data,” says AJ Bell financial analyst Danni Hewson.

Also helping the index was news from index heavyweight BP that it expects to hit its net debt target ahead of schedule – raising the prospect of more generous returns to shareholders.

“Travel stocks moved higher despite tourism chiefs voicing some disappointment with the plans announced for international travel from the UK yesterday,” Hewson added.

The rest of the week could see markets struggle for direction with relatively few big corporate announcements on the horizon.

FTSE 100 Top Movers

SSE (4.02%), Rolls-Royce (3.69%) and mining giant, Glencore (3.61%), led up the FTSE 100 at the beginning of the week.

At the bottom of the index, Ocado (-1.63%), Just Eat (-1.35%) and Rentoki (-0.98%) are the day’s biggest fallers so far.

BP

BP (LON:BP) announced on Tuesday that it expects to reach its $35bn net debt target in Q1 of 2021. The estimate is a result of earlier-than-expected proceeds from disposals and a “very strong quarter”, the oil company said today. 

At the end of 2020, BP had a debt pile of $39bn. The FTSE 100 company previously expected to reduce its debt to $35bn by as late as 2022. The company plans to begin buying back shares once it reaches its debt target, and will provide an additional update upon releasing its Q1 results on 27 April.

Tesla

Away from the FTSE 100, Tesla shares (NASDAQ:TSLA) opened 7% higher on Monday as news emerged that the electric vehicle manufacturer exceeded expectations of its production and delivery figures.

At the end of last week Tesla confirmed it had delivered and produced 184,800 and 180,338 cars respectively in the first quarter of 2021. Analysts expectations were at around 168,00 vehicles for the period, according to data collected by FactSet. It was a record-setting quarter, exceeding the 180,570 deliveries completed in Q1 of 2020.

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