Business Insight

FTSE surges as Hillary given all-clear by FBI

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton gestures at supporters during a campaign event at the Taylor Allderdice High School in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania last month. The FBI confirmed yesterday that it would not be pressing charges against the former US secretary of state
Kalyeena Makortoff

BRITAIN'S blue chip stocks surged yesterday, gaining £28 billion in value after US presidential candidate Hillary Clinton was given the all-clear by the FBI over her handling of classified information.

The FTSE 100 Index closed higher by 1.7 per cent or 113.64 points at 6806.9, as the London market swung back into positive territory after slumping to a seven-week low on Friday when investors sweated over polls showing a close race to the White House.

The upward move added £28.6bn to the value of the FTSE 100 index.

Meanwhile, the pound was stripped of last week's gains at the US dollar strengthened.

Republican candidate Donald Trump had been closing the gap on Mrs Clinton after the FBI said it was investigating a fresh batch of emails that raised questions over her handling of classified information while serving as US secretary of state.

But the dollar gained after the FBI announced that the latest emails linked to her use of a private server did not alter its decision not to press charges.

Sterling was down nearly one per cent against the greenback at US$1.240, and flat against the euro at 0.2 per cent or 1.123.

Across Europe, the French Cac 40 and German Dax both closed higher by around 1.9 per cent

In oil markets, Brent crude lost most of the day's gains to trade flat near US$45.60 per barrel. It came as investors cashed in on a price bounce linked to hopes that Opec will still strike a production freeze deal in the weeks ahead.

On the FTSE 100, mining shares soared after JP Morgan raised its target price for a number of stocks including Antofagasta, BHP Billiton and Anglo American.

Antofagasta shares rose 33.5p to 565p, while BHP Billiton jumped 55.5p to 1221.5p, and Anglo American rose by 51p to 1122.5p.

Shares in HSBC rose 27.5p to 622.3p despite it reporting an 86 per cent drop in pre-tax profits to US$843 million (£678m) for the third quarter as it took a hefty hit from the disposal of its Brazilian business.

However, experts say investors are optimistic about HSBC's plans to focus on core areas of the business, including Asia.

Tesco shares took a hit, falling 2.3p to 200.2p after its banking unit revealed that hackers stole money from thousands of current accounts over the weekend.

The bank confirmed that of its 136,000 current account holders, 40,000 had experienced suspicious transactions, while money had been fraudulently withdrawn from around 20,000.

Away from the top tier index, Hiscox shares rose 14p to 1039p after the insurer saw gross written premiums rise by a fifth to £1.858bn in the nine months to the end of September, partly due to the benefits of a weaker pound.

The biggest gainers on the FTSE 100 were Antofagasta up 33.5p at 565p, Glencore up 13.4p at 251.2p, BHP Billiton up 55.5p at 1221.5p, and Anglo American up 51p at 1122.5p.

The biggest losers were Fresnillo down 49p at 1576p, Randgold Resources down 115p at 6675p, Tesco down 2.3p at 200.2p, and United Utilities Group down 9p at 914.5p.

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