The £99bn Halloween horror show for FTSE 100 during October

It ended the day, the final session of the month, 92 points or 1.3% higher at 7,128 on the back of gains in the US and then Asia.

But October has still proved a horror show for investors worldwide.

They have been spooked in recent weeks by worries about US-China trade tensions and higher US interest rates as well as the fear that a corporate earnings boom may have reached its peak.

It has culminated in a stock market value plunge totalling more than $5trn across the world during the month, according to market experts.

Latest economic data has done little to ease concerns, with an overnight report showing a slowdown in Chinese manufacturing growth – following disappointing eurozone growth figures on Tuesday.

That helped send the yuan lower and boosted the dollar.

But a batch of positive earnings figures in Europe on Wednesday helped share markets rally.

In London, well received updates saw Asia-focused bank Standard Chartered and paper and packaging company Smurfit Kappa among the main FTSE 100 risers.

BP meanwhile enjoyed a further bounce a day after reporting its best quarterly profit in five years thanks to the rising oil price.

The rally still left the FTSE substantially down on the month. It had ended September above the 7,500 mark.

The close meant the market value of its constituent companies was almost £98.8bn lower.

The market is also significantly down for the year to date, having opened 2018 at close to 7,700.

The FTSE’s performance later on Wednesday was capped by gains for sterling, which tends to hit dollar-earners on the FTSE, as the Brexit Secretary Dominic Raab signalled a deal with the EU would be in place by 21 November.

Meanwhile Germany’s Dax gained more than 1% on Wednesday while France’s Cac 40 climbed more than 2%.

US markets were also clawing back losses during Thursday trading – with so-called FAANG (Facebook, Apple, Amazon, Netflix and Google) stocks being sought out following a positive reaction to Facebook’s latest results.

The Nasdaq remained on course for its worst month since 2012 despite strong gains on Thursday.

Neil Wilson, chief market analyst at, wrote: “FAANGs are leading the charge with their best day in years.

“The Dow has risen above its 200-day moving average – look for a close above this level around 25,118 for a sign of bullishness.

“Technical indicators are suggesting the market was oversold and due a bounce, but it’s hard to tell if it will last.”

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