Despite a decidedly slow day of trading, the FTSE 100 closed at a record high today, finishing at 7,560.35 points.
The index was pushed higher by NMC Health, which rose 4.2 per cent, and the Coca-Cola Hellenic Bottling Company, which rose three per cent. However, the index itself only mustered a 0.07 per cent rise.
Having increased losses first thing this morning after currency traders were disappointed by a lack of guidance from the Bank of England after yesterday's interest rate hike, sterling climbed 0.6 per cent against the euro to €1.1268 this afternoon.
Meanwhile, it rose 0.1 per cent against the dollar, to $1.3073, having erased most of the gains it made earlier in the day after figures from the US showed weaker growth in job openings than expected.
"Although the jobs report fell short of the lofty forecasts made earlier in the week, the solid rebound from last month’s number, plus strong revisions to previous two months, meant that the overall impression of a healthy US economy remains intact, said Chris Beauchamp, chief market analyst at IG.
"After the relentless nature of the newsflow of the past few days, investors seem to have taken the afternoon off, with some judicious profit-taking to round off the week.
"Sterling valiantly tried to claw its way off the lows hit yesterday, after the swan-dive following the [interest rate] news, but despite [Bank of England deputy governor] Ben Broadbent’s best efforts to say ‘no, we really do want to keep raising rates’, he failed to dispel the impression that the monetary policy committee will now sit on its hands and await developments."