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Britain’s FTSE ends 2017 on a high

The FTSE has hit a series of records going into the year-end, helped by its large weighting in commodities-related stocks.

Picture: Pixabay.com.

LONDON - The UK’s top share index hit a new record on the final trading day of 2017, carried higher by buoyant cyclical stocks.

At the end of a holiday-shortened session, the blue chip FTSE 100 .FTSE index was up 0.9% at 7,687.77 points, rallying into the close and hitting its highest level on record as shares in miners and financials rose.

Mid caps .FTMC also reached a record high, up 0.4%.

The FTSE has hit a series of records going into the year-end, helped by its large weighting in commodities-related stocks.

Miners, which are sensitive to the price of underlying metals, have risen as the price of copper has held at four-year highs.

Shares in Rio Tinto, BHP Billiton and Glencore all rose between 1.2% to 2.2%, while precious metals miners Fresnillo and Randgold Resources gained 2.8% and 2.1% respectively as the price of gold advanced.

Miners have been among the FTSE’s best-performing stocks this year, with Antofagasta up nearly 49% and Glencore up 41.6% year-to-date.

Elsewhere NMC Health has been the index’s best-performing stock, while a takeover has pushed Worldpay’s shares 57.8% higher this year.

Housebuilders Persimmon and Berkeley Group both had a comeback year, recovering after seeing their shares plummet in the immediate aftermath of the UK’s Brexit referendum in June 2016.

“We’ve definitely got an eye on financials, so for us (it‘s) housebuilders and financials. Housebuilders for the government policy and financials for rising inflation,” Jasper Reimers, senior analyst at Vertex Capital, said.

Shares in Rio Tinto, BHP Billiton and Glencore all rose between 1.2% to 2.2%, while precious metals miners Fresnillo and Randgold Resources gained 2.8% and 2.1% respectively as the price of gold advanced.

Miners have been among the FTSE’s best-performing stocks this year, with Antofagasta up nearly 49% and Glencore up 41.6% year-to-date.

Elsewhere NMC Health has been the index’s best-performing stock, while a takeover has pushed Worldpay’s shares 57.8% higher this year.

Housebuilders Persimmon and Berkeley Group both had a comeback year, recovering after seeing their shares plummet in the immediate aftermath of the UK’s Brexit referendum in June 2016.

“We’ve definitely got an eye on financials, so for us (it‘s) housebuilders and financials. Housebuilders for the government policy and financials for rising inflation,” Jasper Reimers, senior analyst at Vertex Capital, said.

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