Stock markets around the globe shot higher as investors bet that a Covid vaccine would free up the economy and Donald Trump agreed to co-operate with the transition of power to Joe Biden.
On a record-breaking day on Wall Street, the Dow Jones Industrial Average smashed through the 30,000 mark for the first time.
In London, travel, oil, leisure and banking stocks led the FTSE 100 index up 98.33 points to 6432.17 – its highest since June.
Landmark: On a record-breaking day on Wall Street, the Dow Jones Industrial Average smashed through the 30,000 mark for the first time
The Footsie has gained 15.3 per cent in November, putting it on course for its best ever month. The record is a 14.4 per cent rise in January 1989.
Laith Khalaf, an analyst at AJ Bell, said: ‘There’s some real momentum heading into 2021.
Markets are looking through this year and are pricing in a return to normality. There has been a buzz ever since Pfizer announced a vaccine and this has been boosted by news that Astrazeneca and Oxford University’s could be 90 per cent effective.’
Investors also have their fingers crossed that a Brexit deal could be just around the corner. Negotiations have entered their final weeks amid signs of an agreement.
The Footsie has gained 15.3 per cent in November, putting it on course for its best ever month. The record is a 14.4 per cent rise in January 1989
But while the FTSE 100 is still down 15 per cent this year, the Dow Jones is now up 5 per cent.
Mike Zigmont, head of trading and research at Harvest Volatility Management in New York, said: ‘Investors are getting optimistic about the coming six months.
Elon cashes in as Tesla soars
Tesla boss Elon Musk is now the world’s second-richest person after his company’s value raced past $500billion (£375billion).
The net worth of the 49-year-old entrepreneur, pictured, rose to more than £96billion, just ahead of Microsoft founder Bill Gates and second to Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, who is worth £136.6billion, according to the Bloomberg billionaires index.
Tesla shares are up more than 500 per centthis year, boosted by strong demand for its latest cars. It is now the world’s most valuable car maker by far.
The rise has boosted Musk’s personal fortune by £75billion this year, up from £21billion at the end of 2019.
The billionaire could receive up to £41billion if Tesla’s market capitalisation reaches $650billion (£488billion) by 2028.
With the announcement that the transition of the Biden administration is kicking off, it just makes a lot of uncertainties of the future disappear.’
Donald Trump has said his administration would co-operate with Biden’s transition team, bowing to Republican pressure to start the transfer of power.
In a tweet, the President recommended that the General Services Administration, the agency that provides transition resources, ‘do what needs to be done with regard to initial protocols’.
Investors were also caught by surprise as Biden named Janet Yellen as the first female Treasury Secretary.
The 74-year-old economist returns to mainstream policy-making just two years after she left as head of the Federal Reserve.
Traders expect her appointment will smooth the way for Biden to turn on the spending taps as the battered US economy tries to recover from coronavirus and large-scale unemployment.
Krishna Guha, economist at US bank Evercore, said: ‘She believes it is essential to continue fiscal as well as monetary support for the economy and will likely seek to leverage her credibility over time to promote more fiscal support including for the unemployed and for state and local governments.’
Stocks pummelled by the pandemic have been among the big winners this month. British Airways owner IAG gained another 2.4 per cent yesterday while Rolls-Royce was up 8.2 per cent.
Energy stocks soared as Brent crude rose above $48 a barrel. BP was up 8.4 per cent and Shell 4.8 per cent.
Others making strong gains included banks such as Lloyds, Barclays and Natwest, housebuilder Taylor Wimpey and Premier Inn owner Whitbread.