Global stock markets move higher amid gains for US tech giants

Top US and European stock markets moved higher on Wednesday, with London’s FTSE 100 lifted by gains for airlines and miners after a sluggish start to the week.

The UK’s blue-chip index gained 53.7 points, or 0.66%, to close at 8,193.51.

Endeavor Mining and Fresnillo, and British Airways owner IAG and EasyJet were among the day’s biggest risers.

In Paris, the Cac 40 moved 0.86% higher and in Frankfurt, the Dax was up 0.99% when markets closed.

It was also a strong session for the pound, which was up about 0.45% against the US dollar at 1.284, and 0.35% against the euro at 1.186.

Kathleen Brooks, research director at XTB, said a rally for US chipmaker Nvidia was among the factors driving global markets higher.

Shares in the technology company, which briefly overtook Microsoft as Wall Street’s most valuable stock, were about 2% higher in early trading in the US.

“The sharp rise in Nvidia’s share price this week suggests that the biggest tech stocks are immune to political instability in the US and around the world,” said Ms Brooks.

“The fact that a benign economic backdrop – a slowing but positive growth outlook for the US economy, the prospect of rate cuts in September, and falling inflation – is not boosting the broader market suggests that the tech giants are a bigger driving force for financial markets right now, even more so than the Federal Reserve.”

In New York, the S&P 500 was up about 0.4% and Dow Jones up 0.3% by the time European markets closed.

Shares in Upper Crust owner SSP jumped by a tenth on Wednesday (James Manning/PA)
Shares in Upper Crust owner SSP jumped by a tenth on Wednesday (James Manning/PA) (PA Archive)

In company news, shares in Upper Crust-owner SSP jumped by a tenth after the business said it was seeing an increase in demand for leisure travel, which was leading to more visitors at its food outlets.

The company, which has tens of thousands of staff around the world, said its sales grew in recent months and it was expecting the positive momentum to continue. Its share price was 10.4% higher at close.

Elsewhere, pub chain Wetherspoon revealed another improvement in sales in recent weeks, as it continues to sell off some of its pubs amid efforts to reduce its debt burden.

The company saw like-for-like sales increase by nearly 8% over the year-to-date, compared with the same period last year, and highlighted new openings in city-centre locations planned for the coming months. Shares in Wetherspoon dipped by 2%.

The biggest risers on the FTSE 100 were Endeavour Mining, up 68p to 1,831p, Fresnillo, up 22.5p to 608p, Entain, up 20.2p to 660.2p, IAG, up 5.1p to 178p, and Prudential, up 20p to 735.2p.

The biggest fallers on the FTSE 100 were Sage Group, down 21.5p to 1,033p, WPP, down 13.8p to 727.2p, Barratt Developments, down 6.1p to 485.1p, DS Smith, down 4.8p to 415.2p, and Halma, down 23p to 2,652p.