UK's blue-chip shares index hits a fresh all-time high

London, Feb 8 (IANS): The UK's blue-chip shares index has hit a fresh all-time high on Wednesday, only days after a previous record was set last Friday, media reports said.

The FTSE 100 index rose by almost 1 per cent at the open on Wednesday morning to hit 7,928.03, surpassing the former high of 7,906.58 set on 3 February, The Guardian reported.

Before that date it had taken more than four years to surpass the previous high set in May 2018, it added.

Global markets have rallied in the first weeks of this year on hopes that inflation may be easing, after the shock prompted by soaring energy prices.

The FTSE began to rally at the start of the year, as investors welcomed China's decision to relax Covid-19 restrictions, which could support global growth. They have also been heartened by the slide in US inflation, as well as the country's strong employment figures, The Guardian reported.

Oil company BP was the biggest riser on Wednesday morning, climbing just over 3 per cent in morning trading, taking the shares to their highest level since August 2019. Its shares continued their rise, a day after the company revealed its profits had doubled to $28 billion in 2022, as it benefited from the sharp increase in gas prices linked to the Russia-Ukraine war.

The FTSE 100's rise came amid growing hopes that the UK could avoid a recession, with the National Institute of Economic and Social Research forecasting Britain was now likely to avoid two quarters of contraction this year.

"The UK large-cap index has restored its bullish momentum," said Victoria Scholar, the head of investment at Interactive Investor, The Guardian reported.

"Over a one-year period, Pearson is the best performing stock on the FTSE 100 followed by BAE Systems and Antofagasta. Over the past one month, JD Sports is the top performer, with IAG and 3i in second and third place."

The Footsie, as the index is informally known, contains the 100 most valuable companies listed in London. It was created in 1984, when it started at 1,000 points, The Guardian reported.



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