FTSE extends gains on Fed comments

Reuters | | Updated on: Mar 12, 2018

Britain’s main equity index rose early on Thursday, helped by a Federal Reserve pledge to taking a “patient approach’’ to any interest rate increase.

Fed Chair Janet Yellen said that the rates were unlikely to rise for “at least a couple of meetings’’, meaning April at the earliest. That helped ease concerns that a tightening in US monetary policy and a rising dollar would curb global economic growth and pummel the prices of commodities.

Gold-mining companies were up mirroring a rally in gold after the Fed’s decision. Randgold was up 3.1 per cent.

Worries about over-supply of industrial metals such as copper capped the gains on other mining stocks. BHP Billiton rose just 0.2 per cent as copper fell.

By 0853 GMT, the FTSE 100 was up 29.89 points at 6,366.37 points to gain 0.5 per cent and extend a 3 per cent bounce from Tuesday’s two-month low.

“I think we’re going to push on from here,’’ said Mark Priest, a trader at ETX Capital, who expected FTSE futures to end the year at around 6,500 points, compared with around 6,370 on Thursday.

The FTSE was, however, lagging all other major European indexes, which have a larger exposure to sectors that depend on global growth, such as autos.

Published on December 18, 2014
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