By Steve Goldstein
U.K. stocks surged on Monday, buoyed by a rally for the mining sector as metals futures jumped.
The FTSE 100 /zigman2/quotes/210598409/delayed UK:UKX -0.18% rose 2.6%, its best single day of gains since the 4.7% surge after U.S. drug company Pfizer first announced the effectiveness of its coronavirus vaccine.
Mining giant Rio Tinto /zigman2/quotes/208934945/delayed UK:RIO -1.05% had the largest upward pull on the FTSE 100, as miners including Polymetal International /zigman2/quotes/204469675/delayed UK:POLY +0.84% , Fresnillo /zigman2/quotes/201300065/delayed UK:FRES -1.35% , Glencore /zigman2/quotes/201400686/delayed UK:GLEN -2.73% and Anglo American /zigman2/quotes/201381512/delayed UK:AAL -1.76% all surged with commodity prices in demand. The dollar fell to its lowest level since April 2018, and there were big gains for gold , copper /zigman2/quotes/210054311/delayed HG00 -1.53% , silver /zigman2/quotes/210315219/delayed SI00 +0.71% and platinum /zigman2/quotes/210261555/delayed PL00 -0.67% .
The gains for commodities came on hopes for the global economy. The U.K. on Monday become the first nation to inoculate with the vaccine made by drug company AstraZeneca /zigman2/quotes/203048482/delayed UK:AZN +0.54% , which also posted strong gains.
U.S. stock futures /zigman2/quotes/209948968/delayed ES00 +0.08% also gained ground on the first trading day of 2021.
U.K. banks including Natwest Group /zigman2/quotes/209265718/delayed UK:NWG -0.17% and home builders such as Taylor Wimpey /zigman2/quotes/208623755/delayed UK:TW +2.00% slipped, a sign traders were less optimistic about companies more exposed to the U.K. economy than the global one.
Shares of U.K. gaming company Entain /zigman2/quotes/207493593/delayed UK:ENT +2.00% jumped 27% to 1,429 pence, after rejecting the proposed 1,383 pence per share bid from MGM Resorts /zigman2/quotes/209932643/composite MGM +0.71% that valued the company at £8.09 billion. Entain, the owner of brands including Ladbrokes, said the proposal significantly undervalues the company and its prospects. Entain also asked for “additional information in respect of the strategic rationale for a combination of the two companies.”