FTSE latest: UK market SOARS by £40 BILLION after post-Brexit trade deal agreed

The London stock market soared to a nine-month high as investors gave a thumbs-up to the agreement which will be officially signed today. The FTSE 100 jumped by 2.58 per cent or 168 points to 6,670, in its first day of trading since the historic agreement was reached on Christmas Eve.

It meant the FTSE was at its highest level since March 5 when markets were gripped by fear over Covid-19.

Pharmaceutical firm AstraZeneca made strong gains as traders were increasingly hopeful that its vaccine, created with the University of Oxford, will soon be approved for use in the UK.

Optimism surrounding the rate of vaccinations across the UK helped to keep the markets aloft.

Nevertheless, banking stocks were still cautious in the face of coronavirus concerns.

Lloyds, NatWest, Barclays and HSBC were four of the FTSE's heaviest fallers in early trading despite the broader uptick in sentiment.

Russ Mould, investment director at AJ Bell, said the markets seem to be "welcoming the Brexit deal".

"However, the agreement struck between London and Brussels is yet to win universal acclaim, even if that is the inevitable result of the compromises that the Prime Minister had to make to get the deal over the line before the end of the transition period and confirmation of the UK's departure from the economic bloc," he added.

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