FTSE 100 hits nine-month high amid Brexit deal relief and vaccine hopes – business live

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5.20pm GMT

The domestically-focused FTSE 250 index of medium-sized companies also rallied today, ending 1.7% higher at 20,897, a new 10-month high.

European stock markets closed at their highest level since February too, with the rally in London helping to lift the Stoxx 600 by 0.75%.

5.13pm GMT

After a strong day’s trading, Britain’s stock market has finished at its highest closing level in almost 10 months.

The FTSE 100 index has closed up 1.55% today at 6602 points, its highest closing point since 5th March (midway through the market crash in the first wave of the pandemic).

“A double-dip recession, thanks to new viral strains and perhaps more stringent lockdowns, could put equity investors on the back foot – even if the FTSE 100 is down by a sixth from its August 2018 and January 2020 highs, the index is up by 30% from its March 2020 nadir of 4,994, so some degree of recovery is already expected.

Banks and financial services led stocks that fell in the first post-Christmas trading on 29 December, which analysts say is in response to developments around Brexit and a lack of detail for market operations come 1 January……

Brown Shipley analyst Shanti Keleman attributed the falling UK bank shares to “no agreement on financial services equivalency in the Brexit deal”, the BBC reported.

“Nerves remain over what deal will be struck in 2021 when it comes to financial services and indeed services overall, which provides a far greater percentage of UK GDP (and the Government’s tax take) than fishing or manufacturing” https://t.co/qVZ0aISNOy

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