London shares gained on Wednesday morning as an enormous U.S. stimulus package and evidence of moves by companies to deal with the financial effects of the coronavirus crisis offset the impact on markets of a surge in cases domestically.
The FTSE 100, down 30% in the past month, on Tuesday saw its best day since the swings of the financial crisis of 2008. It had recovered another 4.1% by 09:35 GMT as oil & gas companies, banks and drugmakers rose.
U.S. senators and the Trump administration reached an agreement on a $2 trillion package on Wednesday, expected to include $500 billion in direct payments to people and $500 billion in liquidity assistance.
“In terms of the follow-through, it’s quite encouraging to see this morning,” said Roger Jones, London & Capital’s head of equities. “We have a situation where all the central banks and governments are saying we’ll do whatever it takes.”
The FTSE 100 is up about 15% since hitting an eight-year low last week as the Bank of England cut interest rates to a record low and the government promised businesses loan guarantees and offered to pay 80% of their wage bills if they put staff on leave rather than sack them.
The FTSE midcap FTMC has recovered nearly 20% since last week’s low.