Markets: FTSE 100 surges after a positive reaction to the Budget

  • FTSE 100 up 1.6% to 6,945
  • Gold up 1.1% to $1,167.58/oz
  • £/$ – 1.4978

The FTSE 100 saw a big rise yesterday as investors reacted positively to the Budget. The index rose 1.6% to close at 6,945.

Financial stocks were among the top performers. Standard Chartered led the rise with a 8.1% rise, wealth manager St James’s Place added 5.2% and financial services platform Hargreaves Lansdown gained 2.7%.

In European markets, the Paris CAC 40 rose 0.1% to 5,033, and the German Xetra Dax lost 0.5% to 11,922.

In the US, the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 1.3% to 18,076, the S&P 500 added 1.2% to 2,099, and the Nasdaq Composite was 0.9% higher at 4,982.

Overnight in Japan, the Nikkei 225 and the broader Topix index each fell 0.4% to 19,476 and 1,575 respectively. And in China, the Shanghai Composite rose 0.1% to 3,582, and the CSI 300 slipped 0.2% to 3,839.

Brent spot was trading at $55.01 early today, and in New York, crude oil was at $43.25. Spot gold was trading at $1,166 an ounce, silver was at $15.88 and platinum was at $1,116.

In the forex markets this morning, sterling was trading against the US dollar at 1.4804 and against the euro at 1.3902. The dollar was trading at 0.9390 against the euro and 120.76 against the Japanese yen.

And today, clothes retailer Next reported a big rise in profits or the year. Annual profits in the year to January 2015 rose by 12.5% to £782m, up from £695m in 2014.

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