UK stocks : FTSE 100 bust through 6,000
London's blue chip index closed up 129.56 points, or 2.2 percent at 6,027.37, bettering the average return on the first day of trading after the new year over the last 12 years of about 1.2 percent, according to Thomson Reuters data.
The fuel for the fire was provided in the United States where the House of Representatives ratified a deal to stave off a series of growth-threatening tax hikes and spending cuts in the short term.
Johan Jooste, chief market strategist, Merrill Lynch Wealth Management EMEA, said in a note investors in Europe would be satisfied with the deal for now, but a sustained break above previous years' highs required a positive outcome of the fiscal and budget negotiations that are set to continue through to March.
Miners were the biggest risers, up 5 percent, having lagged broader market gains in 2012, with the sector also aided by solid global PMI data, particularly from China, which helped to allay fears over the demand outlook.
Anglo American, which lost more than 20 percent in 2012, climbed 5.8 percent as some analysts tipped the firm for a turnaround in fortunes this year.
Heavyweight oils and banks rallied too, pushing the FTSE 100's performance up nearly 15 percent since June 2012 lows.
The U.S. fiscal deal also helped to calm investors with the VIX - a crude
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