FTSE 100 bounces back after steep falls in China

The FTSE 100 Index bounced back above the 6,000 mark after surging by nearly two per cent as it recovered following one of its worst sessions in recent years.

A Chinese stock investor reacts near a display for stock prices at a brokerage house in Qingdao in eastern China's Shandong province Tuesday, Aug. 25, 2015. Chinese stocks tumbled again Tuesday after their biggest decline in eight years while most other Asian markets rebounded from a day of heavy losses.

The rise of 115 points added about £29 billion back on to the value of the UK’s top 100 listed companies after about £74 billion was wiped off the FTSE 100 in the previous session.

But the blue chip share index was still trading at lows not previously seen since the start of 2013 after Monday saw the top flight fall by 4.7 per cent.

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The one-day drop - which followed on from a 2.8 per cent fall on Friday - had not been equalled since September 2011. There had not been any worse sessions since the dark days of the downturn in 2009.

Investors on Monday had been reacting to the latest stock market rout in China with the Shanghai composite seeing its worst fall for eight years meaning that all its gains for 2015 had been wiped out.

Today’s bounce-back for the FTSE 100 saw a rise of more than 1.9 per cent, despite further falls in Asia overnight. But the index was still in “correction” territory, more than 10 per cent off its all-time closing high of 7,104 in April.

Global markets have been rocked in recent weeks by China’s slowing economy and the depreciation of the yuan - as well as plunging commodity prices and fears over the timing of the next US interest rate hike.

But almost all top-flight shares were ahead today, with the index pulled higher by a recovery in mining stocks such as BHP Billiton and Antofagasta - which have been pounded by the falls in commodity prices caused by China’s woes.

Also up sharply was More Than insurer RSA, after it said was willing to back a £5.6 billion takeover by Swiss rival Zurich.

Tony Cross, market analyst at Trustnet Direct, said: “The FTSE 100 has bounced out of the starting blocks as Tuesday’s session gets under way with some evidence of bargain hunters jumping in although the gains are looking somewhat tempered.

“However there’s that overarching concern that historically market movements like we saw on Friday and Monday are rarely isolated events so the issue will be that the choppy market conditions could well prevail for some time yet.”

Connor Campbell, financial analyst at Spreadex, said: “After the market-wide panic of ‘Black Monday’ cooler heads seem to be prevailing this Tuesday morning as investors begin to pick up the pieces, even if China itself continues to struggle.”