The U.K.’s FTSE 100 surged on Wednesday, continuing its strong start to 2021, driven by the index’s oil giants and banks.
The benchmark index
climbed 3.1% to a 10-month high into afternoon trading and is already 5.3% up so far this year, as investors seemingly shrugged off the impact of a third national lockdown in England.
While mining stocks helped the index to start the year with impressive gains on Monday and energy stocks led the way on Tuesday, both sectors combined on Wednesday.
climbed more than 6% and shares in Royal Dutch Shell
rose 5%, as oil prices rallied after the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries reached an agreement on Tuesday on production curbs in February and March. Saudi Arabia will also voluntarily take an additional production cut of 1 million barrels a day. Oil prices rallied by nearly 5% following the deal, hitting 11-month highs.
West Texas Intermediate crude futures
broke above $50 per barrel for the first time since February 2020, while March Brent crude
climbed to $53.61. BP stock is 13.8% up year-to-date, while rival Shell is 12.8% up. The index’s miners had another good day, led by Glencore
and Anglo American
London-listed banks also enjoyed gains as bond yields rose amid the closely-contested Georgia runoff elections in the U.S., in which the Democrats moved closer to a Senate majority.
The Associated Press called one of the two seats for Democrat Raphael Warnock early on Wednesday morning. AP also projected a slim lead for Democratic challenger Jon Ossoff over Republican Sen. David Perdue — a lead of 0.22 percentage points with 97% of the expected vote counted. The Democrats need to win both contests to take control of the Senate, as Vice President-elect Kamala Harris would cast tiebreaking votes.
Read: Wall Street refused to believe the Georgia polls. Now there’s a big rotation under way
With a potential Democrat majority raising the prospect of further stimulus, the U.S. 10-year Treasury yield
climbed above 1% for the first time since March, while bond yields across Europe
Shares in Standard Chartered
surged 8.7%, while HSBC
rose 7.4%, and Barclays
gained 7.2% as a result.