LONDON: London stocks rose on Monday with the FTSE 100 finishing nearly 1% higher as bank stocks climbed after fears of a global banking meltdown eased, while AstraZeneca rose after it gave a positive update on a drug trial.
The blue-chip FTSE 100 gained 0.9% at close, while the more domestically focussed FTSE 250 micap index also added 0.2%.
Banks rose 1.3%, rebounding from a 3% drop in the previous session as US lender First Citizens BancShares Inc said it would purchase the loans and deposits of failed Silicon Valley Bank, easing investor angst about the global financial system.
Christopher Peters, trading floor manager at Accendo Markets said the recent developments in the banking sector are easing concerns of a crisis.
“It’s a move to quell the concerns across the system,” Peters said, adding “it may well be a case that the banks can find a bit of respite.” With another week left to wrap up the month, London’s FTSE 100 is on track to decline more than 1% for the quarter and post its worst March performance since 2020 as concerns of banking crisis ratcheted up market volatility.
AstraZeneca Plc hit a three week high, gaining 1.6% after the drugmaker reported that its Eplontersen drug showed positive results in a late-stage trial among hereditary transthyretin patients.
Energy majors Shell and BP also helped gains, rising 1.5% and 2.1% respectively, taking the broader energy sector up 1.7% as crude prices rose.
Meanwhile, British retailers reported their first positive sales expectations in seven months, according to a survey published by the Confederation of British Industry, adding to other recent signs of recovery in the economy.
Later this week, investors would be looking out for UK GDP data for the fourth quarter, a crucial stress point in gauging the state of the economy as it battles double digit inflation and surging interest rates.