The FTSE 100 has hit a new record high as global inflation and interest rate fears continued to ease.
The index of the UK’s largest publicly-listed firms was trading up more than 1% on Friday, helping it to push past its previous peak.
The index has previously hit an intraday high of 7,903.5 points in May 2018. Its all-time high close was 7,877.45.
On Friday, the index had briefly pushed as high as 7,906.58 at the time of writing, and it remained to be seen if it would beat the all-time close.
Global markets have been buoyant in recent weeks due to optimism that central banks will halt recent interest rate increases and a slowdown in inflation across key global economies.
On Thursday the Bank of England hinted that UK interest rates could be nearing a peak as it hiked them for the tenth time in a row.
The Bank’s Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) said it would only raise rates further if it sees evidence of more persistent inflationary pressures.
In the US the Federal Reserve increased the base rate by 0.25 percentage points on Wednesday, the smallest increase since last March.
Shares in London have also been boosted in recent weeks by the relaxation of Covid-19 rules in China, which have supported improvements for commodity stocks as the prices of raw materials improve.
It comes after a turbulent 2022 which saw the FTSE improve by less than 1% despite the easing of pandemic restrictions, as the UK’s economic recovery was impacted by rampant inflation, higher interest rates and labour shortages.