After its record close yesterday, the FTSE 100 finished the week on another record high, despite discouraging US jobs figures.
The index smashed through the 7,700 figure for only the second time this morning, peaking at 7,727 points in lunchtime trading, and closed at 7,724 points, 0.4 per cent higher than yesterday's record close.
It was carried higher by utilities giants Centrica and United Utilities which rose 3.1 per cent and 2.2 per cent respectively.
|Smith & Nephew||+2.2%||Mediclinic||-1%|
|Reckitt Benckiser||+2.2%||Rio Tinto||-0.7%|
Meanwhile, in the US, markets carried on their rallies, with the Dow Jones staying above its landmark 25,000 points for the second day in a row, while the S&P 500 rose to 2,734 points, up 0.4 per cent.
That was despite official figures showing the US created just 148,000 jobs last month, far fewer than the 190,000 expected.
"The market shook off a jobs report that was disappointing on the headline number, with the upward revision to November’s number helping to reassure investors," said Chris Beauchamp, chief market analyst at IG.
"While earnings rose in line with forecasts, the lack of any beat on this measure meant that the dollar was only able to chalk up small gains.
"Still, the first week of the year has proceeded in a very similar fashion to 2017, as equities continue to rally despite further outflows from funds."
However, some commentators have been less optimistic. In a note published yesterday, asset manager Jeremy Grantham, who is credited with predicting the housing bubble of 2007 and the dot-com bubble of 2000, warned of a "melt-up", a rise in equities driven by investors who do not want to miss out on gains, rather than an upturn in the economy.
"Just recently, say the last six months, we have been showing a modest acceleration, the base camp, perhaps, for a final possible assault on the peak," warned Grantham in a note.