The London equity benchmark index surged today, climbing more than 65 points (1.01%), supported by a strong rally in mining stocks as well as robust gains in the real estate sector after a Rightmove house price survey showed asking prices for the UK houses rose by 3.3% in February.
The other European equity markets have been trading fairly sideways in today’s session, with the CAC, DAX and IBEX indices ending slightly lower on the day. In the meantime, US equity and commodity markets remained closed for the US President’s Day holiday.
On the macroeconomic front, the recent Japanese economic data was fairly mixed after showing strong industrial output and capacity utilisation figures, while the country’s GDP growth number missed analysts’ expectations. Japan’s industrial output climbed by 0.9% in December and its capacity utilisation rose by 2.2% during the same period. However, the Japanese economy grew at a slower pace in Q4 2013, with its GDP number adding just 0.3%, well below the recent estimates for a 0.7% increase.
In the UK real estate sector, Hammerson surged by 3.22%, while British Land and Land Securities also followed the uptrend and gained 2.33% and 1.92%, respectively.
Mining stocks also outperformed in today’s trading session as base metals and precious metals stocks climbed higher with Gold surging to retest a 3-month high at $1330. Anglo American, Glencore, Randgold, BHP Billiton and Rio Tinto rose between 1.27% and 2.01%.
Tomorrow, the release of UK CPI inflation data will set the tone for the day, while in the afternoon investors’ attention will turn to the US NY Fed manufacturing index.