FTSE 100 hits record high as trade war fears fade
The FTSE 100 hit a record high yesterday as fears dissipated over a trade war between the US and China and the pound continued its downward trajectory.
London's top flight closed above 7,800 points for the first time as markets were buoyed by news overnight that the global superpowers put a hold on imposing punitive import tariffs on each other's goods.
The index closed up 80.38 points, or 1.03%, at 7,859.17, adding £20.7bn to the UK market.
Among the biggest rises were at 3i Group, Astrazeneca, Marks & Spencer and Burberry.
The soaring FTSE, however, came at the expense of a fall in the pound, which was trading 0.42% down at 1.341 US dollars.
Against the euro, sterling was down 0.13% at 1.141 euros.
Evraz, British American Tobacco and MicroFocus were among the few stocks trading in negative territory.
Jasper Lawler, head of research at London Capital Group, said: "It was the weakness in the British pound on top of general optimism about the receding prospect of a US-trade war that helped the FTSE 100 reach a new record high.
"The gains were broad-based with shares of 3i leading the charge while gold-miners were among only a handful of shares that lost value as the price of gold dropped."
The Cac 40 in France also made gains, rising 0.51%, while the Dax in Germany fell 0.28%.
In oil markets, Brent crude was up 0.52% at 78.980 US dollars per barrel as concerns over supply levels remain after the US left the Iran nuclear deal.
Ryanair warned yesterday that the rising oil price could take the gloss off its performance over the next 12 months, having booked a solid increase in full-year profits.
Barclays' shares edged upwards after it emerged the bank would not face charges relating to its emergency fundraising from Qatar at the height of the financial crisis.
The Serious Fraud Office had sought to prosecute the lender for two offences.