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FTSE rises as Russia and Ukraine enter ceasefire talks

FTSE rises as Russia and Ukraine enter ceasefire talks

The FTSE 100 has risen as investors breathed a sigh of relief over the Ukraine crisis, as Russian and Ukraine foreign ministers met for talks in Berlin over a ceasefire.

The FTSE added 38 points, or 0.6%, to 6,727, regaining ground in lost in late trading on Friday as fears over Ukraine re-emerged amid reports a Russian armoured column that had entered the country was destroyed. However, Russia made no threat of retaliation, dismissing the reports as ‘fantasy’.

‘Confirmation from the Ukrainian president Petro Poroshenko that the Russian military vehicles that had crossed the border had been destroyed sent markets into a tail spin on Friday,’ said Jonathan Sudaria, dealer at Capital Spreads.

‘However, after the initial knee-jerk reaction, markets had begun to pare back the losses as traders shrugged off its impact but also questioned its legitimacy.’

The talks in Berlin produced agreement over Russia's controversial humanitarian convoy to Ukraine but no results over a ceasefire. However, parties to the talks have agreed to continue to prepare 'concrete proposals'. 

In a broad based rally of the market, only a handful of stocks were trading in negative territory. Tesco (TSCO) fell 0.6% to 246.5p and Reckit Benckiser (RB) traded 0.3% lower at £52.75.

Hargreaves Lansdown (HRGV) was the top performer, rising 2.4% to £11.06. The online stock broker has been one of the worst performers on the FTSE 100 this year, and was last week branded a ‘sell’ by analysts at UBS, prompting further falls.

EasyJet (EZJ) and International Airlines Group (ICAG) both rose 1.7%, to £13.11 and 338.1p respectively, as they benefited from a slide on the oil price, due to the easing of Ukraine tensions. Brent crude fell to close to $102 a barrel, with an increase in output from Libya and an easing of Iraq supply worries also sending the price lower.

Bovis Homes (BVS) was the top performing 'mid cap' stock, rising 5.2% to 843p as the house builder announced a 150% rise in half-year profits.

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