1. By LaToya Harding

    Business reporter, BBC News

  2. Simon Read

    Business Reporter

    Premier

    Copyright: Getty Images

    Image caption: FTSE 100 riser Whitbread owns the Premier Inn hotel chain

    The FTSE 100 blue-chip index has made a positive start to the day ahead of the Budget statement, climbing 75 points to rise 1.14% to at 6,689.

    “The positive performance of the FTSE 100 may help put a little more pep in Chancellor Rishi Sunak’s step as he makes the journey from Number 11 Downing Street to the House of Commons,” said AJ Bell investment director Russ Mould.

    Whitbread, owner of the Premier Inn hotel chain, led the Footsie risers amid suggestions the furlough scheme and business rates holiday will both be extended, supporting the hard-pressed leisure and hospitality sector.

  3. By Lora Jones, Daniele Palumbo & David Brown

    BBC News

  4. Stock

    Copyright: Getty Images

    The FTSE 100 index of shares in London has seen a “sprightly start” on the first full day of trading of 2021.

    The blue-chip index is currently up 1.73%, or 111.77 points, at 6,572.29

    The wider FTSE 250 index is up 0.98%, or 199.83 points, at 20,688.13.

    Richard Hunter, Head of Markets at Interactive Investor, said: “The UK market’s first opportunity to react to the Brexit deal has led to a sprightly start to the New Year.

    “The move builds on a rally of around 16% since the beginning of November, although the spike was not enough to prevent an overall decline of 14.3% during 2020.

    “The finer implications of the UK’s exit remain to be seen, but the fact that a deal was agreed prior to the deadline removes some of the overhang which had been haunting the index for some time.”

  5. By Simon Read

    Personal finance reporter

  6. By Daniel Thomas

    Business reporter, BBC News

  7. By Simon Read

    Business reporter

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