Conservative government certainty buoys the markets

Canary Wharf at sunrise in the City of London. Picture submited

Canary Wharf at sunrise in the City of London. Picture submited - Credit: PA

Energy firms, banks and housebuilders were among the big risers today as blue-chip stocks surged in the wake of the surprise election result.

The FTSE 100 Index climbed by as much as 2% before settling 102.1 points higher at 6987.8 as the better-than-expected performance by the Conservatives ended fears that markets faced weeks of political uncertainty.

British Gas owner Centrica jumped 6% or 16.5p to 273.9p after Labour's defeat dispelled the possibility of an energy price freeze and tighter regulation. SSE was 5% or 76.5p higher at 1640.5p.

Housebuilders also performed strongly on the back of the result and today's report from Halifax showing house prices surged by 1.6% in April.

Persimmon was up 5% or 87.5p to 1740.5p and Barratt Developments added 28.75p to 541.75p. Outside the top flight, Berkeley surged by as much as 10%, or 244p to 2735p, and estate agent Foxtons added 24.7p to 252.7p.

UK-focused banks, who may also have feared intervention by a Labour-led administration, did well too, with state-backed Lloyds Banking Group adding 5.2p to 87.3p and Royal Bank of Scotland improving 17.8p to 350.1p.

Despite the upbeat mood, analysts warned that the release of US jobs figures later in the session could act as a drag on shares.