British stocks charged on Monday

Britain’s blue-chip share index, the FTSE 100 had a bumper day on Monday, gaining more than 1% as investors in the commodity heavy index reacted positively to a weakening dollar early in the day.

The FTSE closed the day at 6,275, a gain of 65 points, with the gains led by commodity firms. Four commodity based companies — Rio Tinto, Weir Group, Glencore, and BHP Billiton — gained more than 6%, while Anglo American was up more than 11%. Here’s how the FTSE looked at the close:

And here’s Anglo:

Earlier in the day some suggested that the FTSE’s rise was a sign that British investors are now in favour of Brexit, but the move was actually influenced by the falling dollar this morning. Commodity firms generally carry out a large portion of their operations in dollars, so when the currency falls it usually boosts their shares.

The dollar index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of other currencies, slipped in early trading this morning, helping boost commodity shares. It has since recovered, and at the European close was trading 0.07% higher, but commodity stocks on the FTSE held their gains.

The performance of British stocks was in direct opposition to that of the pound, which saw big losses after three separate polls showed the Leave camp in the lead ahead of the UK’s Brexit referendum on June 23.

It wasn’t just Britain where stocks rose, with all of continental Europe’s biggest bourses also ending in the green. Gains were generally much smaller than the FTSE. Stocks on the continent were aided by a better than expected reading from Sentix’s latest investor confidence survey. Here’s the scoreboard for the rest of Europe:

  • German DAX: up 0.23% to 10,126 points
  • French CAC 40: up 0.15% to 4,428 points
  • Italian FTSE MIB: up 0.65% to 17,608 points
  • Spanish IBEX 35: up 0.36% to 8,833 points
  • Eurostoxx 50: up 0.22% to 3,003 points

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