Britain’s stocks rallied to put the FTSE 100 Index on track for its biggest two-day advance since August, mirroring gains in global equity peers on speculation that central banks will expand stimulus measures.
Commodity and energy companies including BHP Billiton Plc, Royal Dutch Shell Plc and Antofagasta Plc led the climb, adding at least 5 percent each, as crude and commodity prices extended last session’s rally. European Central Bank President Mario Draghi indicated he may bolster economic support as soon as March, helping fuel optimism in markets.
The FTSE 100 Index added 2.1 percent to 5,894.73 in London. The benchmark has dropped 5.5 percent this year in a broad selloff. Volatility also fell today, with a gauge tracking it paring a surge this year fueled by concern over the oil rout and slowdown in China. The FTSE 100 closed on Wednesday at its lowest level since November 2012, entering a bear market.
The broader FTSE All-Share Index gained 2 percent, and Ireland’s ISEQ Index added 1.3 percent. The volume of FTSE 100 shares traded was about 48 percent greater than the 30-day average.