Stocks lifted by Japanese elections

Equities are in the black after the result of the general election in Japan boosted investor confidence.

Shinzo Abe’s Liberal Democratic Party won a majority in the general election, meaning that for the first time in six years one party has control of both the lower and upper houses of parliament. Mr Abe rose to power towards the end of last year, as he promised to do whatever it takes return Japan's economy to growth, and the latest electoral victory allows him more influence over the economy – something traders have welcomed. Overnight, Asian stocks rallied and in turn provided a boost for equity markets in Europe.

The yield on the ten-year Portuguese government bond has dropped to 6.73%, as President Anibal Covaco Silva has backed the coalition government. A drop in cost of borrowing indicates that investors are more confident in country’s ability to repay its debts.

Mining sector stocks are the best performers in London due to higher commodity prices: Randgold Resources is up 2.7% after Morgan Stanley upgraded the company to ‘outperform’. Meanwhile, pharmaceutical giant GlaxoSmithKline is in the red, as the company is involved in a bribery investigation in China; the share price is down 0.6%.

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