June 27, 2018 / 9:22 AM / 5 months ago

Britain's FTSE rebounds as trade war fears recede

LONDON (Reuters) - The UK’s top share index rebounded on Wednesday as fresh optimism regarding U.S. trade policy fuelled risk appetite with the help of buoyant energy stocks.

A man shelters under an umbrella as he walks past the London Stock Exchange in London, Britain August 24, 2015. REUTERS/Suzanne Plunkett

The blue chip FTSE 100 .FTSE index started the day in negative territory but closed up 1.1 percent at 7,621.69 points.

Tensions over trade between the U.S. and China have hit stock markets this week, with the FTSE sliding more than two percent on Monday after U.S. President Donald Trump announced plans to bar Chinese companies from investing in U.S. technology firms.

A subsequent U.S. decision to soften its tone and use strengthened security reviews rather than imposing China-specific restrictions was greeted with relief on Wall Street.

“Firmly strapped into the trade war rollercoaster, the markets saw a chunky upswing on Wednesday afternoon as Trump appeared to pull back from the brink”, said Connor Campbell, a financial analyst for Spreadex.

Energy stocks .SXEP added the most points to the index as crude prices climbed on supply disruption in Canada and after U.S. officials told importers to stop buying Iranian crude from November.

Miners also lift the FTSE 100 higher with Rio Tinto (RIO.L) and BHP (BLT.L) up 2 percent and 2.7 percent.

Among individual stocks, shares in Carnival (CCL.L) continued a recovery from a sell-off on Monday prompted by weak guidance in its results. The recovery was boosted by an upgrade from Berenberg to “buy” from “hold” and the stock ended the day up three percent.

“We believe that the backdrop of strong consumer confidence continues to support the industry and, while we acknowledge the incoming supply, we do not see any evidence that supports the sell-off in the shares since the Q2 2018 numbers,” analysts at Berenberg said in a note. Carnival’s shares were up 1.8 percent.

Shares in takeover target IWG (IWG.L), the British workspace firm, fell 2.8 percent after it warned on profit, blaming the cost of opening new space and a weak performance in Britain.

Traders said the takeover interest from private equity firms Terra Firma and TDR Capital among others were supporting the stock despite the profit warning.

Reporting by Kit Rees, Editing by Peter Graff, William Maclean

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