UK share markets are having a fresh tear higher on hopes of a strong post-Covid economic rebound. The FTSE 100 has just hit its most expensive since early January in Wednesday business. And the FTSE 250 has ripped to its highest level on record north of 22,000 points.
Investor confidence has improved significantly for a number of reasons. Better-than-expected economic figures from across the US, Asia and Europe have boosted appetite for UK shares. Fresh details on US President Biden’s $2trn stimulus plan — and hopes of ongoing support from central banks and governments — have shored up market sentiment. And upgraded global growth forecasts from the International Monetary Fund have helped soothe investor nerves too.
The FTSE 250 is on fire!
It’s perhaps unsurprising that the FTSE 250 specifically has soared to new record peaks. This particular index is more highly geared to the UK economy than the more-international FTSE 100. Thus investor appetite for shares on this index has soared because of the world-leading success of Covid-19 vaccine rollouts on these shores. Mass vaccinations are, of course, critical in order to reverse pandemic lockdowns and getting the economy moving again.
There’s clearly a long way to go before the coronavirus crisis is beaten. Rising Covid-19 pandemic rates in Europe mean that the global economic recovery is far from assured. The possibility that new virus variants will emerge is another thing for UK share investors to seriously consider.
That said, I believe that now is a great time to go shopping for UK shares. This is because many top-quality stocks (even from the soaring FTSE 250) continue to trade at prices that are well below their pre-pandemic levels. They have the capacity to soar in value during the new bull market that will accompany the eventual economic recovery.
2 UK shares on my radar
I’ve continued to buy UK shares in my Stocks and Shares ISA to hopefully make big shareholder profits over the next few years. And there are plenty of stocks from the FTSE 250 that are on my wishlist today. Shipping giant Clarkson is one company I think will benefit as the economic rebound clicks through the gears. Almost nine-tenths of the world’s cargo is carried on ships, meaning that Clarkson should benefit from an improvement in global trade. But bear in mind that operational issues — such as the recent unexpected logjam at the Suez Canal — can seriously dent profits.
I’m also tempted to buy Big Yellow Group shares for my ISA. This is because demand for its self-storage services will likely climb as economic conditions improve. Rising consumer confidence, a strengthening housing market, and a growing need for space to store stock among e-retailers will likely light a fire under this FTSE 250 stock’s top line. Yes, the self-storage market is growing rapidly. But aggressive expansion from Big Yellow’s competitors could well damage profits growth for this particular operator.
Royston Wild has no position in any of the shares mentioned. The Motley Fool UK has no position in any of the shares mentioned. Views expressed on the companies mentioned in this article are those of the writer and therefore may differ from the official recommendations we make in our subscription services such as Share Advisor, Hidden Winners and Pro. Here at The Motley Fool we believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors.