A Brexit deal that almost materialized sent a sigh of relief to previously worried traders and sent London’s top index to its highest level since the start of the Covid 19 pandemic on Tuesday.
The FTSE 100 closed up 100.54 points at 6,602.65, up 1.6 percent in its first session following the trade halt on Thursday.
It was down from its daily high of 6,676.6 points, which, in about nine months, brought the index to its highest level.
On Christmas Eve, investors responded to the post-Brexit trade deal signed between London and Brussels.
The agreement made it much clearer, after four years of confusion, what the UK’s relationship with its nearest neighbors in the years ahead would look like.
The threat of a no-deal Brexit, which had put pressure on markets, was also eliminated.
That was the first time that markets in the U.K. were available. After the deal was revealed, traders have flocked to an eclectic mix of firms, including Halma, Pershing Square, and Diageo, a manufacturer of security equipment.
Since Thursday’s contract, the pound has traded all the way, but still managed to rise on Tuesday, up 0.4 percent to 1.3509 against the dollar and 0.1 percent to 1.103 against the euro.
When it bought Dermstore for $350 million (£259 million), Hut Group stood for one of the greatest stories of the day. Hut Group has paid almost £ 60 million for U.K.-based Claremont Ingredients and David Berryman, in addition to the U.S. skin care business. The shares closed up 9%.
Admiral also took part in the merger and acquisition action by selling more than half a billion pounds of Confused.com and other parts of its business to Uswitch. Shares of Admiral rose 4.4 percent .
Ryanair and Wizz Air, meanwhile, said they would move ahead with plans to disenfranchise the United Kingdom. Shareholders to ensure that their EU licenses can be held. That means it would not be possible for British people holding shares in the two companies to vote or attend shareholder meetings. Ryanair shares rose 2.8 percent, while Wizz Air went the other direction, dropping 0.5 percent .
The Dow Jones was flat in the U.S., while the S&P 500 rose 0.2 percent in Europe shortly after the close. The Cac rose 0.5 percent in Paris across the River, while Germany’s Dax fell 0.2 percent.
Brent crude oil increased to $51.23 a barrel by 0.7 percent.
Halma, up 116 pence to 2514 pence; Diageo, up 131 pence to 3045 pence; Next, up 306 pence to 7234 pence; Pershing Square, up 105 pence to 2535 pence; and Smith & Nephew, up 65 pence to 1590.5 pence, were the biggest winners in the FTSE 100.
Lloyds Group, down 1.85 pence to 36.755 pence, Barclays, down 5.32 pence to 149.28 pence, Natwest Group, down 5.6 pence to 163.35 pence, Rolls-Royce, down 2.9 pence to 112.85 pence, and Whitbread, down 65 pence to 3149 pence, were the greatest losers in the FTSE 100.