FTSE breaks 7,000 record

Britain’s benchmark FTSE 100 share index has risen above the psychologically important 7,000 level for the first time.

FTSE breaks 7,000 recordThe FTSE 100 has broken through the 7,000 level for the first time in its history, propelled by investor hopes that interest rates will stay at record lows and signs that Greece will stave off a deeper financial crisis.

Britain’s benchmark index of shares climbed 60.19 points to finish on Friday at 7,022.51, a 0.9pc gain that took the index to its highest ever close. A new intraday record was also set, with the index touching 7,024.21 during the afternoon.

It was a landmark moment for the index, as the 7,000 level is seen as psychologically important. The FTSE 100, which was launched in 1984, first breached the 6,000 mark in 1998 and it has taken another 17 years to surpass the next milestone.

The blue chip index has set a number of all time highs in recent weeks, having finally overcome its dotcom bubble peak last month after a wait of more than 15 years.

As with stock markets on the continent and on Wall Street, investors in British shares have been buoyed by the economy boosting measures taken by central banks around the world.

The European Central Bank’s £700 billion quantitative easing programme, which began earlier this month, has been a major driver of the stock market’s rally.

The US Federal Reserve has also helped. On Wednesday, a statement from the US central bank suggested its first interest rate hike since 2006 was months away, easing concerns that a tightening of monetary policy was imminent.

UK wage growth data released the same day and a relatively cautious set of minutes from the Bank of England’s Monetary Policy Committee also prompted investors to push back their forecasts for a rate rise on this side of the Atlantic.

The QE programmes undertaken by the Fed and the Bank of England, combined with record low interest rates, have seen investors pile into shares in recent years, a trend that is now being encouraged by the ECB’s own bond-buying.

Whilst this is great news for UK investors, other stock markets have also been breaking new records.

In the US, the S&P 500 and the Dow Jones Industrial Average have regularly hit record highs over the past two years. Germany’s DAX, which includes dividends, hit a new peak of 12,167 on Monday after surging 22.8pc since the start of the year. Similarly, the CAC 40 in France has jumped 19.1pc in 2015 to its highest level since 2008.

March 23, 2015  Tags: , , , , , ,   Posted in: Business Finance, Business Growth, Business Win, Finance Business, Global Businesses, Growing Businesses, Growing Economy, Share Floatation, Uncategorized, Winning Businesses

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