The FTSE 100 saw an impressive rise of 150 points yesterday, which equates to almost 3 per cent as the UK catches up with similar rises on Wall Street and in Asian markets after our three day weekend.
Banks were at the forefront of the raise, with Royal Bank of Scotland up 12 per cent as well as Lloyds and Barclays seeing rises of around 8 per cent. Having gone into the weekend worried about the situation in Greece and perplexed by US Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke’s apparent refusal to implement another round of quantitative easing the markets have made a speedy recovery.
Progress made on both of these issues has boosted markets across Europe, with Germany and France seeing gains of 0.8 and 1 per cent respectively. News of a merger between two major Greek banks eased worries in this area and brought about the biggest single day rise in the Greek equity market in more than 20 years.
While no further quantitative easing was announced, Bernanke’s promise to fully examine the options available in a two day Federal Open Market Committee meeting gave the markets some much needed encouragement, and consumer spending in the US rose at the fastest pace seen in the last 5 months.