FTSE 100 Index claws back post-Brexit losses
The FTSE 100 Index has clawed back all of the losses seen in the post-Brexit sell-off after rallying another 3.6% higher amid hopes that Britain's EU exit will be some way off.
The top flight returned to its pre-Brexit high, leaping 219.7 points to 6360.1, meaning it has now clawed back nearly £100 billion lost in the immediate aftermath of Brexit.
The pound also continued to rally, rising two cents against the US dollar at 1.35, just days after hitting its lowest level since 1985, while sterling also lifted nearly two cents to 1.22 euros.
The market gains follow a near-160 point rise on the FTSE 100 on Tuesday, with equities worldwide rallying strongly in a post-Brexit bounce-back.
Oil prices also leapt back towards 50 US dollars a barrel in a further sign of market confidence, with Brent crude up 2.6% at 49.95 dollars.
Michael Hewson, chief market analyst at CMC Markets, said: "With no likelihood of Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty getting triggered any time soon it seems that the status quo isn't likely to change in the short term.
"Whilst that doesn't remove the uncertainty with respect to the eventual outcome, it also means that markets are going to have plenty of time to settle into their newfound reality and equilibrium."
On Wall Street, the Dow Jones Industrial Average on Wall Street raced more than 1% higher at the time of close in London.
Across Europe, the Cac 40 in France closed 2.6% ahead and Germany's Dax added another 1.8%.
But away from the gains on the top tier, the FTSE 250 is still more than 7% lower than its pre-Brexit level and some experts warned the equities rally may only be a brief respite, with markets in the "eye of the storm".
Adam Jepsen, founder of Financial Spreads, said: "Any investors who think the markets have calmed down should think again. It is far more likely that we are in the eye of the storm."
Stocks that took a hammering in the Brexit-inspired sell-off continued to rise, with housebuilders and financials among those leading the charge in the top flight index.
Charles Church builder Persimmon and Taylor Wimpey clawed back ground lost in the sell-off, rising another 9% or 10.9p to 132.9p and 7% or 100p to 1444p respectively.
Insurers Aviva and Prudential were also among the biggest blue chip risers, with gains of 7% or 25.6p to 391.6p and 6% or 65.5p to 1256p respectively.
But airlines and travel stocks were back in the red after only a brief rally on Tuesday due to concerns that a weaker pound could deter UK consumers from going abroad.
Tour operator TUI was the biggest faller among only a handful of stocks in the red, down 4% or 33.5p to 844.5p, with British Airways owner International Airlines Group falling 1.3p to 359.3p.
The biggest FTSE 100 risers were Fresnillo ahead 138p to 1587p, Taylor Wimpey up 10.9p to 132.9p, Anglo American 52p higher at 696.9p and Persimmon 100p stronger at 1444p.
The biggest FTSE 100 fallers were TUI down 33.5p to 844.5p, Dixons Carphone 6.6p lower at 335.4p, Paddy Power Betfair off 40p at 7950p and International Airlines Group falling 1.3p to 359.3p.