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FTSE 100 receives Biden boost; IP Group slumps after Invesco share sale

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The FTSE 100 is moving into territory last seen in February and inching towards the 7,000-mark.

It opened 30 points to the good after ending a frenetic Wednesday session almost 230 points, or 3.5% higher.

The post-Brexit readjustment continued, while new impetus has been provided by US stimulus hopes.

The market seemed prepared to overlook the awful scenes of rioting in Washington, which left four dead, and took a more pragmatic view after Democrats were declared winners of two seats contested in Georgia.

Traders reasoned the result, which gives Joe Biden control of the Senate, allows the incoming president now to simply wave through the next major cash bail-out for the American economy.

On the market, Sainsbury (LON:SBRY) led the blue-chip index with a gain of 4% after nudging up its profit forecasts.

“For Sainsbury, which operates in a fiercely competitive arena, the outlook will remain challenging, particularly given the pressure on pricing which the sector demands,” said Richard Hunter, head of markets at Interactive Investor.

“There will also be significant costs arising from the redefinition of the business in the form of the overhaul of the Argos store estate and the extension to its convenience store format in the shape of its new Neighbourhood Hub.”

Rio Tinto (LON:RIO), up 4% in early skirmishes, advanced on the back of a resurgent iron ore price, which itself benefited from the hope the US economy may return to form under the Biden administration.

On the FTSE 250, IP Group (LON:IPO), an investor in fledgeling growth businesses,  fell almost 9% after it emerged that Invesco has sold almost 62mln shares in the business.

6.59 am: Winning streak set to continue 

The FTSE 100 is seen on the front foot ahead of Thursday’s open with the benchmark poised to extend its winning streak.

CFD firm IG Markets sees the London index up around 36 points, making the price 6,887 to 6,890 with just an hour to go until the open.

It would mark a fourth successive daily gain since trading resumed for 2021.

Global equities were boosted by Wednesday’s news – prior to the disturbances in Capitol Hill – that the Democrats won the two seats contested in Georgia.

The one-sided result means incoming president Joe Biden will have greater control and as a result US government stimulus would find an easier pathway.

“Optimism was doing the rounds because there was a view that the future Biden administration would go down the stimulus route,” CMC Markets analyst David Madden highlighted in a note.

“The disturbance at Capitol Hill derailed the process of certifying the Biden electoral victory for a number of hours but it then continued so the final confirmation of Biden’s win should be relatively straightforward.”

On Wall Street, the Dow Jones closed Wednesday up 437 points or 1.44% finishing at 30,829.

The S&P 500 added 0.57% to 3,748 whilst the Nasdaq was down 0.6% at 12,740.

In Asia, Japan’s Nikkei rose 434 points or 434 points to trade at 27,490 and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng was down 0.42% at 27,578.

The Shanghai Composite was up 0.34% at 3,562.

Around the markets

The pound: US$1.3590, down 0.13%

Gold price: US$1,926 per ounce, up 0.23%

Silver: US$27.32 per ounce, up 0.09%

Brent crude: US$54.69 per barrel, up 2%

WTI crude: US$51.04 per barrel, up 2.2%

Bitcoin: US$37,239, up 6%

Story by ProactiveInvestors


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