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Stocks today: FTSE 100 hits 20-month high, VIX at six-week low

By Indrabati Lahiri

Edited by Anil Varma

15:04, 15 October 2021

Image of rising financial graph
FTSE 100 rises – Photo: Shutterstock

UK stocks powered ahead to a 20-month high on Friday, with investor sentiment buoyed by a series of upbeat global corporate earnings announcements.

European stocks also rallied with the Euro Stoxx 50 heading for the best week since March, as the optimism over companies’ third-quarter financial results eclipsed fears of an energy crisis that had weighed on the market in recent weeks. US equity futures and Asian shares also showed a similar trend.

The CBOE Volatility index, or VIX, a measure of expected fluctuations in US stocks, fell for the fourth day to a six-week low, indicating a steadily improving sentiment and positive risk appetite among investors.

    Image of FTSE 100 chartFTSE 100 chart – Credit: TradingView

    Why are stocks up today?

    Investor confidence in equities has got a boost after global banking giants including Bank of America, Morgan Stanley and JPMorgan Chase this week announced third-quarter results that surpassed analyst expectations. Market sentiment was also buoyed by expectations that the travel sector is set to reap benefits as pandemic-related restrictions continue to be lifted around the world.

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    Market Highlights

    • The FTSE 100 was up 0.2% at around 7,232 Friday afternoon in London, after earlier climbing as high as 7,247.3, the highest level since February. The index gained almost 2% this week, on track for the biggest five-day advance since June
    • The Euro Stoxx 50 rose 0.3%, taking its weekly gain to 2.7% -- the gauge is on track for the best five-day rise since March
    • Brent crude oil hit a new three-year high on Friday, just shy of $85 per barrel, and was set to gain for the sixth consecutive week.

    Stock market sentiment improves

    • The VIX index fell below 16.56 to a six-week low, reflecting a recovery of investor confidence after the market was weighed down by worries about inflation and an energy crisis in recent weeks
    • The US dollar index dropped for a third day, reflecting a decline in demand for safe-haven assets

    Top stocks gainers: UK and Europe

    • In the UK, the top performing sectors were minerals, transportation and retail
    • Evraz, International Consolidated Airlines Group and Ocado Group were the best performing companies in their respective segments
    • In Europe, the best gainers were online payment platforms, semiconductors and luxury goods
    • Adyen B.V Parts Sociales, ASML NV and Kering led profits in their respective sectors

    Top stocks losers: UK and Europe

    • On the FTSE 100, consumer services, technology services and consumer non-durables were the segments which took a hit
    • Pearson, Informa and Burbery led losses in their respective segments
    • On the Euro Stoxx 50, financial services, media and optical equipment were lagging behind
    • Santander, Vivendi and EssilorLuxottica were the worst performers in their respective segments

    Markets in this article

    Oil - Brent
    Brent Oil
    73.00 USD
    -0.84 -1.140%
    VIX Volatility Index
    17.60 USD
    0.1 +0.580%
    VIX Volatility Index
    17.60 USD
    0.1 +0.580%
    VIX Volatility Index
    17.60 USD
    0.1 +0.580%
    VIX Volatility Index
    17.60 USD
    0.1 +0.580%

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