LONDON — Britain’s benchmark share index, the FTSE 100, hit a fresh record high on Friday.
After a slow start, the index gained strongly, passing the 7,540 point mark for the first time ever. The benchmark is hovering around the 7,547 mark — a gain of 0.4%.
Here is the chart as it stands:
“This comes by way of a narrowing in the UK election race pushing GBP lower for a welcome translational boost,” Mike van Dulken at Accendo Markets said in a note to clients.
“The FTSE 100 is buoyed by Pharma (broker upgrade on GSK; weaker GBP), BATS & ULVR (weaker GBP), WPP (Blackrock using big data for ad targeting) as well as RIO (oil) and BT. Holding it back are mainly the Banks (UK election polls), RDSb (oil price drop), SHP and ABF,” he said.
The FTSE 100’s new record high is just one of more than a dozen all-time peaks the index has hit since Christmas 2016, as it continues to benefit from the subdued pound in the aftermath of the Brexit vote last summer.
Though a weaker pound might seem like bad news for UK stocks, about 70% of the revenue of the companies that make up the FTSE 100 is derived from abroad, meaning they make more money when sterling is weak. That is because the index is full of mining companies, oil firms, and pharmaceutical giants that use the UK as a base but tend to denominate their assets in dollars.