FTSE 100 closes at record high (again)

 
Emma Haslett
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Shares were up across Europe (Source: Getty)

The FTSE 100 closed at another record high today, showing that political uncertainties aren't overtly worrying investors.

The index finished the day 1.1 per cent up at 7,092.5 points, only the fifth time it's closed above 7,000 since it finally broke that barrier in mid-March.

The close follows a record-breaking day in Japan overnight, where the Nikkei hit 20,000 points for the first time since April 2,000. Yesterday, France's Cac hit a seven-year high, while the FTSEurofirst 300 index rose to its highest level since 2000 in morning trading.

Sterling, however, was less resilient, falling 0.46 per cent against the dollar to $1.464. Earlier in the day it had hit a five-year low, dipping as low as $1.4589 on weaker than expected construction data.

However, housebuilders powered through today, with shares in Barratt rising 2.77 per cent to 4,875p, while Taylor Wimpey rose 2.67 per cent to 165,45p. Pharma giant Shire led the risers after reports the US Federal Drug Administration will rush through approval of one of its drugs, with shares jumping 4.8 per cent to 5,682p.

The FTSE's resilience in the face of one of the most closely-fought elections in recent history is thanks to its exposure to international markets - although the FTSE 250, a "less international index", is also standing strong, pointed out IG market analyst Alastair McCraig.

Now that we have seen the re-emergence of a buoyant M&A market adding to the comforting feel of the QE safety net below, European equities are confirming their status as the destination of choice for cash.

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