FTSE 100 hits another record closing high as commodity prices rise

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Oil prices helped the supermajors to gain ground (Source: Getty)

A meagre gain of less than two points today was enough for the FTSE 100 to post its second consecutive record close, in spite of a stronger pound.

London’s benchmark index closed at 7,562.28 points, a 0.03 per cent gain from Friday’s close.

Oil companies and miners were among the leading performers as commodity prices rose.

BHP Billiton was the main beneficiary as shares rose by 2.59 per cent, while Anglo American shares rose by 1.78 per cent.

Read more: The FTSE 100 just closed at a record high

The price of oil futures rose to a two-year high after the Saudi Arabian government announced a crackdown on corruption widely interpreted as a purge of potential political opponents.

Shares in BP and Royal Dutch Shell both rose by almost one per cent.

The financial services industry dragged the index back from greater gains, as shares in Barclays, Royal Bank of Scotland and HSBC all fell.

The FTSE 100 has been buoyed in the last two years by persistent weakness in sterling against other major currencies. Against the US dollar the pound remains around 12 per cent lower than the same point in 2015, meaning the large share of non-sterling earnings for UK companies is worth relatively more.

Last week’s surge in the FTSE came after the Bank of England raised interest rates but gave a message interpreted as dovish by markets, boosting the pound.

Read more: The pound is still wobbly after yesterday's interest rate hike