Stocks rise on hints from ECB and China

London Stock ExchangeMon close: Positive comments form the European Central Bank and the People’s Bank of China helped soothe investors’ nerves to drive stocks forward.

ECB chief Mario Draghi said the authority was ready to act while analysts hoped China’s central bank might be less inclined to depreciate its exchange rate.

The remarks out of China, in particular, helped lift Brent crude and the FTSE 100 index closed 116.68 points or 2.04% higher at 5,824.28.

US equity markets were closed for Presidents’ Day.

Consumer goods group Reckitt rose 6.8%, posting its biggest one-day rise since February 2009. It posted stronger-than-expected full-year sales, helped by its focus on faster-growing consumer health products.

HSBC advanced 1.4%, benefiting from a rise in shares in Hong Kong, where it has major operations.

Royal Dutch Shell was up 1.1% after closing the acquisition of BG Group.

British Airways and Iberia parent International Consolidated Airlines was higher after Bank of America Merrill Lynch upgraded its stance on the stock to ‘buy’ from ‘underperform’.

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