Thur close: China stimulus hopes lift market
Shares in the top companies closed just below last month’s record highs amid growing positivity around China.
Miners BHP Billiton and Antofagasta each rose by 0.7% on expectations that the Chinese authorities will do more to encourage borrowing and lending.
There are also expectations that the global over-supply of oil is starting to ease which gave a lift to Royal Dutch Shell and BP, 0.8% and 1.4% respectively.
The FTSE 100 settled just 6.21 points higher (+0.09%) at 7,013.47 by the close, after having traded within a narrow range. The index is up by 7% since the start of the year.
Thames Capital Markets’ trader Gerren O’Neill said the firm was a buyer and was targeting 7,100 in the near-term.
There was little reaction to data showing British retail sales rose more strongly than expected in April, recovering from a surprise fall in March.
Luxury goods group Burberry fell 1% as several brokers reduced their price targets on the company’s shares.