FTSE 100 finishes higher, GBP strong, bitcoin market cap above $1 trillion

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imageStock Markets12 hours ago (Mar 09, 2021 16:32)

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Key Points

By Samuel Indyk

Investing.com – The FTSE 100 finished higher with broad based gains across most sectors amid a rally in US stocks, particularly the recently beaten-up tech sector. The rally is partly driven by hopes of fresh stimulus in the US as the House is set to vote on the Covid relief bill this week, with latest reports suggesting the vote will take place on Wednesday. If it passes through as expected, Biden should sign the legislation into law before the unemployment programmes expire later this week.

However, miners were a drag on the blue-chip index, reversing some of the recent surge in share prices as base metals came under pressure, particularly copper. Copper futures were testing $4/lb to the downside amid some fears that China could withdraw some fiscal and monetary support, a move which also saw domestic shares under pressure in Asia-Pacific trading despite reports of intervention by Chinese state-backed investment funds. Anglo American (LON:AAL), Rio Tinto (LON:RIO) and Glencore (LON:GLEN) all fell over 2%.

Domino’s Pizza Group PLC (LON:DOM) delivered for their shareholders with shares jumping 8% after results pre-market. The company announced a rise in revenue and profits in 2020 and announced a new strategy to increase annual sales over the medium term which includes new stores and a drive-thru collection service.

Currencies & Crypto

GBP was strong with EUR/GBP falling to its lowest level in two weeks after Bank of England Governor Bailey’s comments on Monday. Bailey was cautiously optimistic about the recovery in the UK which Rabobank’s head of FX strategy Jane Foley said was having “an extended impact on the pound”.

Bitcoin jumped over 8% and the total market cap breached $1tln for the first time in two weeks as the surge in the world’s largest cryptocurrency resumed. The move comes as more corporations embrace digital assets with one of the latest major companies to buy cryptocurrencies for their balance sheet being Chinese app maker Meitu Inc (HK:1357). The company announced they had spent $40mln on bitcoin and ether late on Sunday in the latest sign that corporations want to profit from the boom in crypto.

Looking ahead

Focus ahead will be on the US 3-year note auction at 18:00GMT. Last month a poorly received 7-year note auction was one of the catalysts for the huge selling pressure in bond markets over recent weeks. If any of this week’s auctions also see similar low interest, there are fears another bout of selling could lead to more equity weakness.

FTSE 100 finishes higher, GBP strong, bitcoin market cap above $1 trillion

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