The pound dropped to its lowest since the October flash crash as the FTSE 100 closed in on its longest winning run since the index started 33 years ago.
The pound fell as low as $1.2052 in mid-afternoon trading, pushing the FTSE 100 over 7,300 for the first time.
London’s blue chip index has increased for 11 days in a row, with a 12th marking an all-time record of consecutive highs since it was founded on 3 January 1984 at a base level of 1,000 points.
In recent weeks relatively strong data has contributed to investor perceptions of a relatively healthy UK economy. However, the historically weak pound has driven much of the index’s rise, with a large proportion of earnings on the FTSE 100 worth more when reported in pounds.
The pound's fall came after an appearance by Mark Carney in front of the Treasury Select Committee - earlier, official figures showing the UK’s trade deficit widened during November had also pushed the index lower.
Meanwhile, gains in the FTSE were helped further by continued strength from the UK retail sector. Sainsbury’s shares jumped by over five per cent in morning trading before paring slightly. It reported a like-for-like sales increase of 0.1 per cent – with analysts previously expecting a fall.
Read more: Supermarkets are leading the FTSE 100
Connor Campbell, an analyst at Spreadex, said: “With Mark Carney stating – after a bit of coercion from the Treasury Select Committee – that Brexit is no longer the signal most significant domestic risk to the UK’s financial stability the FTSE received the final push it needed to cross 7300 this Wednesday.”