European stocks opened the week strongly, with Britain’s blue-chip FTSE 100 entering a bull market on the day, up more than 20% from its recent low in February.
The FTSE, which is disproportionately filled with companies that denominate their assets in dollars, has benefited from the pound’s weakness in the aftermath of the UK’s vote to leave the EU, and has gained more than 6.5% since June 23rd, the day of the vote.
That has helped the FTSE pick up more than 20% since falling below 5,600 points during trading in February.
The index — which is now at an 11-month high — was higher by 1.4% at the close of trade at 6,682 points, and is now almost 350 points higher than it was prior to the referendum.
Stocks benefitted from a little bit of stability returning to UK politics after prime minister David Cameron confirmed that he will be replaced by Home Secretary Theresa May on Wednesday evening. The announcement came after May’s only rival for the Conservative party leadership, Andrea Leadsom, pulled out of the race.
Here is the chart of the FTSE’s performance since February:
Elsewhere, the FTSE 250 — which paints a more accurate picture of UK investor sentiment as the vast majority of firms in the index are UK-based — rallied massively on the day, up by 3.23%. It is still lower than it was prior to the referendum, but is now only 700 points down. On June 27, the index was more than 2,500 below its pre-referendum level. Here is how the FTSE 250 looks:
In the broader European markets, there were gains across the board, with every major bourse up by more than 1%. Here is how the European markets looked to start the week: