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FTSE sees its second biggest percentage rise ever as markets react to UK coronavirus lockdown

Emily Lawford
REUTERS

The FTSE 100 has surged by nine per cent - the second biggest percentage rise on record - and saw its best ever day of trading after the UK went into lockdown.

The surge is the first significant rise at close since the coronavirus pandemic began.

The FTSE opened nearly five per cent down yesterday, ahead of Boris Johnson’s announcement of new coronavirus lockdown measures on Monday night.

The combined value of the 100 most valuable companies on Britain’s main stock index grew by more than £113 billion.

It is the FTSE’s best day on record since November 4, 2008, when it gained 9.8 percent.

Despite warnings that the global economy will take years to recover, the FTSE 100 rose as US politicians prepare to pass a stimulus package worth £1.7trillion to shore up businesses and employees.

The UK economy is shrinking at its fastest rate since 1998, it was revealed today. Last night, Boris Johnson announced a lockdown which will force all but the most vital shops to shut amid the Covid-19 pandemic.

Despite today’s surge, at 5446 points the FTSE 100 is well below where it was a month ago, when it was above 7400.

Cruise company carnival rose the most, surging by 28 per cent. A number of oil and mining companies also had a successful day, including BP, Shell, and Anglo American – all of which rose by more than 20 per cent.

Health product company Reckitt Benckiser fell today, as did food companies AB food and Ocado.

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