FTSE boosted by US rate cut

INVESTORS in London were in a positive mood today following on from the US Federal Reserve's 0.75 per cent interest rate cut last night.The rate cut sent Wall Street's Dow Jones Industrial Average soaring by more than 400 points, and London's FTSE 100 Index was 43.

INVESTORS in London were in a positive mood today following on from the US Federal Reserve's 0.75 per cent interest rate cut last night.

The rate cut sent Wall Street's Dow Jones Industrial Average soaring by more than 400 points, and London's FTSE 100 Index was 43.5 points higher at 5649.3 in early trading.

Credit crunch fears over the cash crisis and cut-price sale at troubled investment bank Bear Stearns sent markets plunging at the beginning of the week, but the Footsie is now trading at levels seen last Friday.

In Asia, Hong Kong's Hang Seng and Japan's Nikkei 225 indexes were both more than 2pc higher after the Dow's 3.5pc rally - its biggest percentage one-day rise for more than five years.

The Fed has now cut its main interest rate by 2pc in the first three months of this year - and 3pc since the credit crunch first erupted in global markets last August - as it attempts to rescue the world's biggest economy from the brink of recession.