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The FTSE 100 rises in risk-on trade on stimulus hopes

The mood is risk-on this morning on the FTSE 100. The index made solid gains during the morning session as positive news regarding oil prices and Joe Biden’s stimulus package emerged over the weekend.

“The FTSE 100 started a new week with solid gains built on optimism over the vaccine-led fightback against the pandemic, strong gains in Asia and US stimulus hopes,” said Russ Mould, investment director at AJ Bell. 

“US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen’s weekend claim that the country could return to full employment if Congress were to pass President Biden’s $1.9 trillion stimulus package gave markets a window into what such significant action could mean for the world’s largest economy,” Mould added. 

The positive sentiment comes despite concerns over the efficacy of vaccines against new variants of the coronavirus. 

FTSE 100 movers

A number of FTSE 100 companies made solid gains before lunchtime on Monday. Among the biggest risers were Anglo American (4.68%), Evraz (3.78%) and Mondi (3.34%). 

At the bottom end, Informa (-1.72%), Smurfit Kappa Group (-1.49%) and Rolls-Royce Group (-1.19%) were among the top fallers.

Oil

Looked to as a barometer for the outlook of the world economy, oil rebounded to pre-pandemic levels today. Brent crude oil was valued this morning at $60 per barrel for the first time since January 2020. 

“The biggest driver for the latest surge in prices seen through last week was a sharp upturn in expectations for economic and oil demand recovery on signs that the coronavirus may finally be in retreat,” Vandana Hari, founder of Singapore-based oil markets data firm Vanda Insights told the BBC.

Boohoo

Online fashion retailer Boohoo reached an agreement to buy high street fashion brands Dorothy Perkins, Wallace and Burtons. The deal to acquire digital assets and intellectual property rights, and not any physical stores, is worth £25.2m. 

Boohoo’s deal follows Asos’ takeover of Topshop, Topman, Miss Selfridge and HIIT last week.  It is the latest stage of the break-up of Sir Philip Green’s Arcadia fashion empire which fell into administration last November.

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