FTSE 100 closes at record high

Emma Haslett
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The index smashed its closing record of 6,930 earlier this week (Source: Getty)

Having smashed its closing record earlier this week, the FTSE closed at a record high, finishing at 6,949.6 points. Earlier, it had breezed past its intraday record of 6,950 topping 6,957 in late afternoon trading.

The index passed its 1999 closing record of 6,930.2 yesterday, gaining more than 20 points today after decision-makers in Brussels approved measures outlined by Greece in exchange for a four-month extension to its bailout programme.

Later, remarks by US Fed chair Janet Yellen pushed the index up higher, after she suggested the Federal Open Markets Committee were poised to give relatively clear signals as to when it will raise interest rates.

The rise was led by miner BHP Billiton, whose shares rose more than six per cent after it unveiled a plan to slash costs this morning.

The index is in a neck-and-neck race to with the Nasdaq to hit its next milestone. While the FTSE 100 is poised to rise about the psychological barrier of 7,000, Nasdaq is closing in on its own target of 5,000. The index rose almost 20 points to 4,966 points today following Yellen's speech.

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