Belfast Telegraph

Blue chip stocks surge after all-clear over Clinton emails

Britain's blue chip stocks surged on Monday, gaining £28 billion in value after US presidential candidate Hillary Clinton was given the all-clear from the FBI over her handling of classified information.

The FTSE 100 Index closed higher by 1.7% to 6806.9 points , as the London market swung back into positive territory after slumping to a seven-week low on Friday when investors sweated over polls showing a close race to the White House.

The upward move added £28.6 billion to the value of the FTSE 100 index.

Republican candidate Donald Trump had been closing the gap on Mrs Clinton after the FBI began investigating a fresh tranche of emails linked to the Democratic nominee.

Across Europe, the French Cac 40 and German Dax both closed higher by around 1.9%.

However, the pound saw last week's gains stripped away as the US dollar strengthened after FBI director James Comey said Mrs Clinton was no longer under the spotlight.

Sterling was down nearly 1% against the greenback at 1.240 US dollars, and flat against the euro at 0.2% 1.123.

The drop in the pound comes after the UK currency leapt to a three-and-a-half week high on Thursday - hitting 1.25 US dollars - after the High Court ruled that Brexit must face a parliamentary vote before Article 50 is triggered.

Neil Wilson, markets analyst at ETX capital, said markets were now acting as if the latest email investigation into Mrs Clinton never happened.

" If Trump wins and the dollar slides, the FTSE could easily hand back these gains and quickly. A stronger pound versus the dollar coupled with a broader risk-off sentiment could spark a big sell off," he said.

"A 10% plunge for US stocks might be expected as this would take us back to February's lows.

"A Clinton win will likely spark a further rally for equities like we are seeing today. Gains of 5% in US and UK indices from where we are now wouldn't be out of the question as this would send stock markets back to recently-hit record highs."

The positive swing from the London market in the run-up to the US p residential election result draws parallels with the FTSE 100 Index's leap just before the outcome of EU referendum.

The London market jumped to a two-month high on June 23, before crashing more than 3% the day after when it became clear that Britain had voted for Brexit.