Great Britain

FTSE 100 reaches pandemic highs, Asian markets trade mixed as Sensex hits record peak

UK’s FTSE 100 touched the pre coronavirus pandemic levels of February 2020 in Monday’s trading session, despite looming concerns of delay in opening up, which the government announced later.

The index was helped by energy majors as oil companies tracked rise in crude prices. The blue-chip FTSE 100 closed 13 points or 0.2 per cent higher, after touching intraday levels of 7,188. Meanwhile, the domestically focused FTSE 250 posted marginal gains and was up by 10 points.

The Boris Johnson government announced a four-week extension in the hopes that a month’s time will allow more people to get vaccinated and prevent another wave. The move may hit the hospitality industry in the short term, but investor sentiments remained high despite expectations of delay yesterday.

Across the pond, the overall US stocks saw a mixed closing but the S&P 500 hit a fresh record high bolstered by gains in big tech companies including Apple. The benchmark index was lower for most of the day, but turned higher in the last 10 minutes of trading, ending up by 0.2 per cent. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 0.2 per cent and the Nasdaq composite rose 0.7 per cent.

Shares in Asia-Pacific opened mixed on Tuesday, following the US peers, except Australian stocks that are trading with gains of around 1 per cent throughout the session. The Nikkei 225 in Japan also gained around a per cent. South Korea’s Kospi, however, in a volatile session dipped in the mid trade and then recovered to gain around 0.1 per cent.

Elsewhere, mainland Chinese stocks declined, with the Shanghai composite lower by almost one per cent. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng declined 0.7 per cent. MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan traded 2 per cent higher.

Indian indices opened higher and were trading at record high levels on Tuesday boosted by gains in banks, financials, IT, metal, and FMCG stocks despite cautious trading in global markets ahead of the results of a Federal Reserve policy meeting.

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