FTSE 100 gains again on stimulus effect


London shares gained on Wednesday as an enormous U.S. stimulus package and evidence of moves by companies to deal with the financial effects of the coronavirus crisis offset the impact on markets of a surge in cases domestically.

The blue-chip FTSE 100 .FTSE, down 30% in the past month, on Tuesday saw its best day since the swings of the financial crisis of 2008.

It had recovered another 1.4% by 0811 GMT, as oil & gas companies, drugmakers and insurers rose.

U.S. senators and the Trump administration reached an agreement on a $2-trillion (1.70 trillion pounds) package on Wednesday, expected to include $500 billion in direct payments to people and $500 billion in liquidity assistance.

The health crisis in Europe continues to deepen, with the number of coronavirus deaths in Britain jumping on Tuesday, the first day of a national lockdown.

Businesses listed more damage, with housebuilder Persimmon Plc (PSN.L) down 2% after saying it was starting an orderly shutdown of its construction sites with only essential work taking place.

Pest control company Rentokil Initial Plc (RTO.L) plunged 19% as it withdrew its 2020 outlook and suspended dividend payments even as it saw a surge in demand for its specialist hygiene and disinfection services.

British travel-food company SSP (SSPG.L), however, rose almost 9% as it launched an emergency issue of shares worth 20% of its share capital on Wednesday as it laid off staff and cut spending to try and ride out the coronavirus-driven collapse in air travel.