London shares rose on Monday as new finance minister Jeremy Hunt reversed Prime Minister Liz Truss’s economic plan announced three weeks ago that slammed UK markets and dented investor sentiment.
The blue-chip FTSE 100 index .FTSE ended 0.9% higher, while the domestically focussed FTSE 250 index .FTMC closed 2.8% up. Both the indexes logged their third-straight day of gains, with the latter up more than 5%.
Under the new policy, most of Truss’s 45 billion pounds of unfunded tax cuts will go and a two-year energy support scheme for households and businesses – expected to cost well over 100 billion pounds – will now be curtailed in April.
Hunt, who replaced Kwasi Kwarteng, said halting the planned tax cuts would raise 32 billion pounds ($36 billion) every year.
The pound GBP=D3 jumped more than 2% against the dollar and long-dated British government bond yields dropped further after the announcement. GBP/
“Markets seem prepared to give Jeremy Hunt the chance to turn back the clock,” said Danni Hewson, financial analyst at AJ Bell.
“The new chancellor has bought the government some breathing space and this morning’s market reaction will have sent a clear message to both the PM and her detractors that “Trussonomics” should never have been seriously considered, at least not whilst the economy is taking such a beating.”
The measures come two weeks ahead of schedule as Hunt seeks to calm investors spooked by the Truss government’s plans that raised concerns about how the tax cuts might be funded and sent borrowing costs sharply higher, prompting the Bank of England to intervene in the gilts market.
“Hunt’s statement should reduce the need for the BoE to raise rates as aggressively as it might have done, but it is still struggling to bring inflation down and as such will need to act in some shape or form,” said Richard Carter, head of fixed interest research at Quilter Cheviot.
“In the short-term, however, this raises serious question marks over the future of the prime minister and as such further political volatility lies ahead for markets.”
Traders are now seeing a 68.2% chance of a 100 basis points hike at the central bank’s Nov. 3 meeting.
Goldman Sachs downgraded Britain’s economic outlook, adding that it “now expects a more significant recession,” while ratings agency Moody’s warned that the turmoil in government and gilt markets would put pressure on financial firms from pension funds to lenders.
Among single stocks, BP Plc BP.L fell 1.2% after the oil giant said it will buy U.S.-based renewable natural gas (RNG) producer Archaea Energy Inc for about $4.1 billion including debt, making it the largest ever RNG acquisition.