Markets: FTSE 100 climbs higher on ECB stimulus plans

  • FTSE 100 up 0.6% to 6,961
  • Gold down 0.16% to $1,198.34/oz
  • £/$ – 1.5240

The FTSE 100 hit a new record high yesterday, as investors were encouraged by details of the European Central Bank’s stimulus plans. The index closed up 0.6% at 6,961.

Financial stocks were the top performers. Friends Life and Aviva were the highest climbers of the day, each adding 7.1%. Fund manager Schroders gained 4.8% and Standard Life was 4.4% higher.

In European markets, the Paris CAC 40 rose 0.9% to 4,963, and the German Xetra Dax added 1% to 11,504.

In the US, the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 1.2% to 18,135, the S&P 500 added 0.1% to 2,101, and the Nasdaq Composite was 0.3% higher at 4,982.

Overnight in Japan, the Nikkei 225 rose 0.6% to 18,971, and the broader Topix index gained 1.1% to 1,540. And in China, the Shanghai Composite slipped 0.2% to 3,241, and the CSI 300 lost 0.5% to 3,478.

Brent spot was trading at $60.82 early today, and in New York, crude oil was at $50.94. Spot gold was trading at $1,197 an ounce, silver was at $16.07 and platinum was at $1,175.

In the forex markets this morning, sterling was trading against the US dollar at 1.5217 and against the euro at 1.3827. The dollar was trading at 0.9086 against the euro and 120.09 against the Japanese yen.

And today, furniture retailer DFS is to float on the stock exchange. Shares are priced at 255p, giving it a market capitalisation of £543.2m. The company was founded in 1969, and has 105 stores in the UK, Ireland and the Netherlands.

David Stevenson, former MoneyWeek writer and director of The Fleet Street Letter, believes silver could be about to start a record climb. Click here (capital at risk) to read about the three irresistible forces David believes could push the price of silver through the roof.

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