Wednesday, Mar 28


U.K. stocks ended firmly in the green Tuesday, buoyed by gains for shares in GlaxoSmithKline PLC and Ferguson PLC. Risk appetite also was revived by a continuing ebb in global trade-war worries. The FTSE 100 index rose 1.6% to close at 7,000.14, putting an end to a four-session losing streak. On Monday, the index fell 0.5%, finishing at its lowest level since December 2016. It’s down 9% this year. The pound changed hands at $1.4162 on Tuesday, down from $1.4230 late Monday in New York. Sterling hit an intraday low of $1.4066, the weakest level in a week. London’s blue-chip stocks rallied alongside European stocks and Asian stocks with the moves coming after Wall Street’s massive jump on Monday that left the Dow Jones Industrial Average up 669 points. U.S. stocks logged their best one-day percentage gains on Monday on reports that U.S. and China are conducting behind-the-scenes talks to avert a global trade war. Fears about a possible trade war have hit global equity markets this month, driven by U.S. President Donald Trump’s push for tariffs on at least $50 billion of Chinese products. The Dow on Tuesday was adding to Monday’s rally. GlaxoSmithKline PLC gained 4.9% after the drug maker agreed to pay $13 billion to Novartis for its 36.5% stake in their consumer health-care joint venture. Shares of Novartis closed up 2.1%.Ferguson PLC jumped 6.7% as the building-materials company said it plans to pay a $1 billion special dividend, and that its revenue and profit increased in the first half of its 2018 financial year. Mining stocks advanced, and some credit went to the easing in tensions between the U.S. and China, which is a major buyer of industrial and precious metals. 
Glencore stepped up 3.2%, Anglo American tacked on 1.7%, and iron-ore miner Rio Tinto picked up 1.8%.