Following the Federal Reserve’s announcement of an additional $600 billion boost to the US economy, the FTSE 100 Index jumped by more than 100 points. At the same time, Asian markets lifted by 2% overnight.
The FTSE 100 is now at its highest level since mid-2008; investors’ spirits have lifted with the Fed’s decision for a second round of quantitative easing.
The weakening dollar caused a dramatic rise in commodity prices. The sharp gains in mining stocks put the top flight at 5,851.1—102.4 points higher.
Unilever also reported massive gains. Shares gained by 4%—down by 73p to 1,883p—following a 4.8% growth in the volumes of Hellman’s mayonnaise and Dove soap in the third quarter.
Morrisons, the supermarket group, reported less satisfying results as its figures continued to show restrained growth. Like-for-like shares gained by 1.3% in the third quarter, but this reflects price inflation rather than growth in volumes. The group’s shares dropped by almost 3%, by 7.6p to 282.4p.
Rolls-Royce reported similarly disheartening figures. Shares dropped by 2%, or 11p, to 643.5p. This came after a Qantas-owned Airbus A380 was forced to make an emergency landing because of engine failure.
The Fed’s economic stimulus has boosted the pound against the dollar.