RECORD HIGH: London breaks new ground on final trading day of the year

  • FTSE 100 closes up 0.9% at 7,696.05, according to Markets Insider.
  • FTSE 250 also at a record high, but other European indices lag on the day.
  • European stocks on track for best year since 2013, $US9 trillion added to stock markets globally in 2017.

LONDON – The FTSE 100 closed at a record high on Friday, the final trading session of 2017.

London’s leading shares index closed up 0.9% at 7,696.05 at 12.30 p.m. GMT (7.30 a.m. ET), following a half day’s trade. The close represents a record high for the FTSE 100 and means the index has risen 26% since January 1, 2016.

The FTSE 250, the index below the FTSE 100 that is often seen as a truer reflection of the domestic UK economy, also closed at a record high. The index finished Friday up 0.45% at 20,734.21.

Mike van Dulken, head of research at Accendo Markets, said in an emailed statement: “Equities are trying to eke out the most of an already generous Santa Rally. The FTSE trades fresh highs, along with US equity futures.

“The only blot is European bourses struggling under the weight of a weaker USD (lower US yields, seasonality) and thus penalised by a stronger EUR. The FTSE would normally find hindrance in similarly derived GBP gains, however higher oil prices, a strong commodity sector (oil, copper) and interest in select defensives are providing a welcome offset.”

The biggest gainers on the FTSE 100 are Just Eat, up 2.7%, AstraZeneca, up 1.9%, and Old Mutual, up 1.7%.

While European bourses are not doing as well as the FTSE on the day, global markets have had a strong year. European equities are set for their best year since 2013, thanks to strong performances from tech and mining stocks, and globally $US9 trillion of value has been added to stock markets since January.

Here’s how the rest of Europe looks at 12.35 p.m. GMT (7.35 a.m. ET):

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