FTSE 8,000 on the way? The UK's two biggest stock indices just hit new record highs

Emma Haslett
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Investors were buoyed by hopes for non-farm payrolls, due out this afternoon. (Source: Getty)

Could the FTSE 100 hit 8,000 points before the year is out? Britain's two largest stock indices hit new record highs yet again this morning, as investors awaited a healthy jobs report from the US.

Having jumped to a new high on Wednesday, the FTSE 100 set a new record this morning, rising to 7,595 points in the first minutes of trading. Meanwhile, the FTSE 250 rose 0.2 per cent to 20,080 points.

The FTSE 100 was pushed up by travel stocks, including EasyJet, which rose 1.9 per cent to 1,417p, International Airlines Group, which rose 1.7 per cent to 612p, and Carnival, which rose 1.6 per cent to 5,112p.

The rises came ahead of today's non-farm payroll report from the US, which is expected to show the country added 185,000 new jobs in May - down from 211,000 in April, but a robust figure nonetheless. Unemployment is expected to stick at 4.4 per cent, while earnings are expected to increase 2.6 per cent, up from a 2.5 per cent increase the month before.

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The news came despite worries over Donald Trump's decision to pull out of the Paris Climate Change agreement, said Neil Wilson, senior market analyst at ETX Capital.

"Investors are ignoring any worries about what Trump’s Paris climate deal shakeout might mean in the short term and instead focusing on renewed reflationary pressures," he added.

"Shares are rising as part of a global cyclical turnaround and sterling weakness is increasingly less important. The pound is still an important factor in the UK market in terms of overall valuations but after the correlation broke down after the referendum, there are signs it’s coming back, with the FTSE no longer simply reacting to cable; going up with the pound falls and dropping when the pound rises.

"As has been noted, the more domestically-focused FTSE 250 is also notching record highs, so it’s not enough to explain away the FTSE’s continued strength by saying it’s down to sterling."

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