LONDON (AFP) — Leading shares closed sharply higher Tuesday, where the big news of the day was the US Federal Reserve's decision to slash interest rates by 0.75 percent, however it was not enough to ease fears over a recession in the US as Wall Street dropped.
At the close, the FTSE 100 index was up 161.9 points at 5,740.1, after opening with a 239.5 point slump to 5,338.7, while the FTSE 250 index was up 352.2 at 9,612.8.
Vodafone was the day's most traded stock, moving 370 million units, followed by Barclays which saw 165 million shares changing hands.
In the US, markets joined stock exchanges around the globe that have fallen precipitously in recent days amid concerns that a downturn might spread around the world. The interest rate cut by the Federal Reserve failed to assuage investors fearing a recession in the United States.
Back in London, the banking sector dominated the leaderboard on hopes a UK rate cut will follow Tuesday's decision from the Fed. The sector was given a further boost by broker upgrades.
The day's best performer was fund manager Schroders, which gained 87 pence -- or 10.4 percent -- to close at 924.
House builders were understandably encouraged by the rate cut in the US, with Wolseley, the day's second-best performer, up 67.50 pence -- or 9.79 percent -- to close at 757.
Among blue-chip fallers, defensive stock Imperial Tobacco was off 98 pence -- 4.09 percent -- to close at 2,300, as its longstanding offer for Altadis has been declared unconditional, after the company broke the 80 percent minimum acceptance threshold required by Spanish regulators.
Imperial said that it had received acceptances representing 93.5 percent of Altadis' issued share capital for the 50 euro per share offer.
The day's second-biggest faller was BT Group, which lost 5 pence -- or 1.94 percent -- to close at 252.50.
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