World markets hit record highs as Covid rebound gains speed

by Jonathan Adams
Wall Street

FTSE 250, Stoxx600, and the Dow Jones and S&P 500 on Wall Street hit all-time highs

Stock markets all over the world smashed records as the Covid rebound picked up speed.

London’s FTSE 250, Europe’s Stoxx600 and the Dow Jones and S&P 500 on Wall Street hit all-time highs. And the FTSE 100 edged higher to 7000 as it closed at its highest level since last February.

The rally will be a boost for savers and pensioners – as many retirement pots and savings accounts are linked to the performance of the stock market.

It points to the confidence traders feel about the prospects about the global economy now that vaccine rollouts are gaining speed and industries put on hold during the worst of the pandemic are able to restart.

Markets went into freefall last February as the scale of the pandemic became clear – with major indexes racking up the biggest falls seen since the financial crisis.

Danni Hewson, financial analyst at AJ Bell, said: Records have been breaking all over US and UK financial markets today. Buoyed by higher than expects retail sales last month and lower than expected jobless claims over the last week, the Dow Jones topped 34,000 points for the first time. In the UK, recovery propelled the FTSE250 to another record high.

Housebuilder Countryside Properties (up 5.1 per cent, or 26p, to 541p), Trainline (up 3.5 per cent, or 16.6p, to 489.8p) and Royal Mail (up 2.6 per cent, or 13p, to 515.4p) provided the biggest boost.

Although the Footsie finished at 6983.5 points, up 0.6 per cent, or 43.92 points – Hewson said positive economic data from China expected today ‘could finally seal the deal’ and push the index over 7000. It would still be a way off last year’s peak of 7869 and its all-time high of 7877, which it reached in 2018. The FTSE 250 closed up 0.5 per cent, or 116.59 points, at 22,472.04, while the pan-European Stoxx 600 hit a high of 438.29.

The Dow Jones and S&P 500 were up 0.8 per cent and 1 per cent higher respectively.

The gains clocked up by London’s two major indexes were all the more impressive given that there were some heavy falls among stocks that went ex-dividend.

This means that those buying shares after that date will not be entitled to a company’s next scheduled dividend. This date often hits a firm’s share price.

On the Footsie, big-name fund managers slumped with Legal & General falling 0.7 per cent, or 1.96p, to 276.1p and Standard Life Aberdeen tumbling 2.2 per cent, or 6.5p, to 285p.

This article is for information purposes only.
Please remember that financial investments may rise or fall and past performance does not guarantee future performance in respect of income or capital growth; you may not get back the amount you invested.
There is no obligation to purchase anything but, if you decide to do so, you are strongly advised to consult a professional adviser before making any investment decisions.

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