London’s FTSE 100 ended 2017 on a new record high today, on a shortened final day of trading before the New Year break.
The benchmark index of blue-chip shares was boosted once again by strong mining stocks, and closed at 1230 GMT, up 0.9 per cent at a new closing high of 7,687.77 points, having earlier reached a new intraday record of 7,697.62.
Despite economic headwinds and Brexit-related uncertainties in 2017, the FTSE added 7.6 per cent over the year, with more records set to be broken in 2018, according to analysts.
“The FTSE 100 could launch a concerted attack on the 8,000 mark for the first time in 2018,” said analysts at AJ Bell.
“While issues such as Brexit, an economy that is hardly firing on all cylinders and political risk must not be dismissed, none of these fears are new and the UK market has three things going for it as we enter 2018 — performance, valuation and dividend yield,” they wrote in a note to investors.
Meanwhile, in the eurozone, stocks fell back, with Frankfurt’s DAX 30 ending its own shortened session 0.5 per cent lower at 12,917.64.
The CAC 40 in Paris, which for its part continued trading as normal, was 0.1 per cent lower at 5,332.27 points by mid- afternoon.
The dollar remained under pressure as traders cash in on the recent gains fuelled by Donald Trump’s tax cuts, while most Asian equities were on course to end a strong year on a positive note.