Market Report: Investors have a spring in their step


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Investors have a spring in their step, propelling markets across the world to fresh highs – the FTSE 100 included.

The UK’s index of leading shares jumped 74.41 points to 7,089.77, surpassing the 7,037.67 record set last month. Similar multi-year highs were recorded in Germany and Japan. Market commentators pinned the optimism variously on improving Chinese inflation figures, the return of mergers and acquisitions, quantitative easing in Europe, the weak euro and low interest rates. In short, the going is good so fill your boots.

Shire led the FTSE 100 higher, climbing 260p to 5,680p after the US Federal Drug Administration agreed to fast track a review of the company’s new dry eye treatment. JPMorgan said: “Priority review implies the FDA see the product potentially providing a significant improvement versus existing therapeutic options for dry-eye, which we see as very encouraging for the chances of timely approval.”

The property sector was booming after Jefferies fired off a slew of upgrades. The housing market is performing better than expected in the run up to the election and the broker has had to tweak its estimates accordingly. Taylor Wimpey rose 4.9p to 166.1p, Persimmon improved 24p to 1,757p, Countrywide jumped 29.5p to 550p and Zoopla rose 7.5p to 205.5p.

Huntsworth tumbled 3p to 42p after a £65m writedown on its Grayling division pushed the PR group to a loss of £56.9m in 2014, compared with a £20.6m profit the year before.

News of oil in Gatwick sent the tiddler oil companies working Horse Hill surging on Thursday but they came falling back to earth yesterday as investors judged their shares had been pushed too high in all the hype. UK Oil & Gas lost 0.72p to 2.25p, Alba Mineral Resources slipped 0.2p to 0.62p, Stellar Resources dipped 0.12p to 0.5p, Doriemus slid 0.02p to 0.1p, Evocutis gave up 0.01p to 0.24p and Solo Oil declined 0.02p to 0.7p.

Blur tumbled 23.5p to 57.5p on AIM after a profit warning due to forecasting errors. The company, which lets businesses book service contracts online, issued two similar profit warnings last year.