Markets

FTSE 100 hits record high

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The FTSE 100 closed at a record high this afternoon, beating a previous record set in January.

The index hit 7,787 points, surpassing a high of 7,778 set on 12 January of this year.

"The death of the bull market has been greatly exaggerated, not for the first time in recent history," commented Laith Khalaf, senior analyst at Hargreaves Lansdown.

"The Footsie did endure a shaky start to the year, but after two months of steady climbing, has now regained and surpassed its previous high."

Analysts pinned the market's strength on rising oil prices and a stronger dollar.

Read more: Wall Street tech rally lifts FTSE as pound stays down

The Bank of England's failure to deliver a May interest rates hike also had a knock-on effect, depreciating the value of the pound to the benefit of many UK blue-chips.

David Cheetham argued that the new record was in line with burgeoning strength in stock markets globally, noting that the French CAC40 hit its highest level since 2008 today, while US small-cap index Russell 2000 also set a new record.

"Markets were caught off guard when volatility made a stunning comeback in February, with rapid declines seen in stock benchmarks around the globe," he said.

He added that "while the global stock market rally is long in the tooth it appears not ready to give up the ghost just yet".

Read more: Fresh wave of shareholder protests set to hit FTSE firms

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