Stock market today: What happened to the stock market today? Why are stocks down?

UK trade markets 'growing faster than EU markets' says Truss

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The stock market in the UK closed higher on Tuesday, bucking the trend seen across Europe. The position was likely due to optimism of an economic turning point in the wake of Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s roadmap out of lockdown restrictions across the country. So what exactly happened with the stock market today?

The UK stock market closed at a higher position on Tuesday, in direct contrast to trends seen across Europe.

Economists believe the spike is due to plans to ease restrictions in England, paving the way for economic recovery.

On Monday, February 22, Mr Johnson unveiled his four-step roadmap for easing Covid restrictions.

The first stage begins in March and continues, so long as certain conditions are met, until June 21 when all restrictions could be lifted.

Mr Johnson today said he felt “very optimistic” coronavirus restrictions in England will be lifted on June 21.

He warned “nothing can be guaranteed” and urged everyone to “continue to be prudent”.

After falling as much 1.7 percent, the commodity-heavy FTSE 100 ended 0.2 percent higher after Mr Johnson’s comments.

The mid-cap FTSE 250 gained 0.4 percent.

Stocks in property, airline and hospitality firms rallied in the wake of the announcement.

Commercial property groups British Land rose by 5.4 percent and Land Securities increased by 4.4 percent, making them the top risers on the FTSE 100 index in London today.

The travel and hospitality sectors also saw a boost with easyJet gaining 4.5 percent.

Britain Airways parent company IAG rose by nearly two percent as airlines and travel companies reported a surge in bookings.

Summer holiday bookings surged by as much as 600 percent after Britain laid out plans to gradually relax coronavirus restrictions.

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Smaller companies also saw their stock performance improve with cinema chain Cineworld seeing its stocks gain 9.5 percent.

Cinemas across the country are due to reopen from May 17 according to Mr Johnson’s roadmap.

SSP Group surged 17 percent after investors anticipated an increase in sales at its Upper Crust and Caffè Ritazza stores once holidaymakers and commuters return to airports and railway stations.

Stocks in alcohol firm C&C Group rose by nine percent as Britons began to prepare for the chance to resume drinking activities from April 12 in outdoor settings and May 17 in indoor settings.

HSBC Holdings Plc jumped by 0.8 percent, alongside other banking stocks, despite lowering its long-term profitability target.

Barclays and Lloyds Banking Group also reported increases of 3.1 percent and two percent respectively.

In terms of the European stock market, Spain reported the highest rate of growth, jumping 1.72 percent.

This was followed by:

  • French stock market (CAC 40): +0.22 percent
  • UK stock market (FTSE 100): +0.21 percent
  • Italy stock market (FTSE MIB): -0.3 percent
  • European stock market (STXE 600): -0.42 percent
  • Frankfurt Stock Exchange (DAX): -0.61 percent
  • Stockholm Stock Exchange (OMXS 30): -0.7 percent
  • Swiss Market Index (SMI): -0.83 percent
  • Amsterdam Exchange Index (AEX): -1.15 percent.

However, not all sectors reported growth in their stock values.

There were declines in technology companies which dragged stocks lower as investors remain increasingly focused on a rise in bond yields.

Major indexes pared a good part of their losses by the afternoon.

The S&P 500 index was down 0.8 percent on Tuesday after being down more than 1.3 percent earlier.

The technology-heavy Nasdaq Composite was down two percent after being down 3.5 percent earlier.

Shares of big technology companies like Apple, Tesla, Amazon and Microsoft were all down, but not as much as in the early going.

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