Britain’s top share index ended higher, boosted by mining companies and drugmakers, after a volatile Wednesday that saw the index slumping 2 percent in early trading following Donald Trump’s victory in the U.S. presidential election.
Republican Trump stunned the world by defeating his heavily favoured Democratic rival, Hillary Clinton, raising concerns that his victory could cause economic and global uncertainty. Stocks across the globe initially fell, but then recovered following his well-received victory speech.
“Overall, a Trump victory has so far failed to trigger the global stock market panic that many expected. As with Brexit, this is a cautionary reminder not to try to base investment strategies on the outcome of political events,” Laith Khalaf, senior analyst at Hargreaves Lansdown, said.
Credit Suisse analysts said that most of Trump’s more troubling policies, such as those related to immigration and protectionism, were likely to be toned down. Some of his other policies, like more fiscal spending and lower corporate taxes, could be seen as positive for equities.
Mining companies tracked a sharp rise in prices of gold, generally seen as a safe-haven asset, although it was off its highs after the conciliatory victory speech that also helped the dollar to rebound. Base metals also rallied on expectations that a Trump presidency could herald a period of fiscal stimulus and boost demand for metals.
The UK mining index .FTNMX1770, which includes precious and base metals companies, surged 5.9 percent to its highest since mid-2015, boosted by a 6.8 to 10.7 percent jump in Fresnillo (FRES.L), Antofagasta (ANTO.L) and Glencore (GLEN.L).
The blue chip FTSE 100 .FTSE index closed 1 percent higher after setting a one-week high. The domestically focused FTSE 250 index .FTMC closed 0.8 percent higher.
Healthcare stocks spiked in a relief rally as Clinton was seen as imposing tighter regulations. Pharma stocks had been losing ground before the election on worries that a Clinton presidency would put pressure on drug prices.
Shares in Hikma (HIK.L), Shire (SHP.L), Astrazeneca (AZN.L) and GlaxoSmithKline (GSK.L) gained 2.7 to 8.3 percent.
Some companies with significant exposure to the United States also rose. CRH (CRH.L) a construction firm which had been touted as a potential beneficiary from any increase in U.S. infrastructure spending, jumped 6 percent, as it derives about half of its revenues from the country.
U.S.-focused Ashtead (AHT.L) soared 11.5 percent.
Shares in banking stocks .FTNMX8350 rose 1.3 percent, in line with their European peers, with some analysts speculating about a more benign regulation in America and on expectations that the Fed could still raise interest rates this year.
However, some stocks came under heavy selling pressure. British grocer Sainsbury (SBRY.L) fell 6.6 percent after reporting an underwhelming set of results. The supermarket reported a third straight decline in first-half profit, hurt by a fall in sales.