London Report: FTSE chases record after rallying to an eight month high

THE UK’S top shares consolidated near an eight-month high yesterday as reassuring news about economic conditions in emerging markets boosted consumer staples and financials, although miners weakened.

The FTSE 100 touched its highest since May 2013, before pulling back in the afternoon, with traders citing caution on Wall Street as US markets reopened after a long weekend.

Banks lent support to the index, led up by Standard Chartered, which rose 2.3 per cent to add over two points to the FTSE 100.

The Asia-focused lender gained after China’s central bank moved to head off another destabilising liquidity squeeze yesterday with a big injection of cash. Brewer SABMiller slipped 0.3 per cent after announcing poor sales, however, saying it has been plagued by weak consumer sentiment in Europe.

The FTSE was flat in percentage terms at 6,834.26 points at the close.

The index remained just 0.6 per cent off May’s intraday high at 6,875, which was its highest level since December 1999.