FTSE 100 marks record winning streak

Trader in London Image copyright AFP

The FTSE 100 index has closed at a record high for the ninth day in a row, the longest such streak in history.

The UK's benchmark share index ended Tuesday's trading session at 7,275.47, up 37.7 points on the day.

The decline in the pound since the Brexit referendum has lifted the stock market, as many of its leading firms make much of their profit overseas.

Supermarket shares fuelled the latest rise, boosted by Morrisons' strong Christmas sales.

Morrisons was one of the strongest performers, up 3.6%, after the company reported like-for-like sales growth of 2.9% over the Christmas period, well ahead of expectations.

The news lifted shares in Tesco, which rose 6%.

A weaker pound boosts the profits of the many multinational companies listed on the FTSE 100 when their foreign earnings are converted into pounds.

'Outstanding day'

Sterling has fallen again this week, triggered by Prime Minister Theresa May's comments on Brexit at the weekend, which many commentators interpreted as signalling that the UK would pursue a so-called "hard Brexit".

After dropping sharply on Monday, the pound stabilised against the dollar on Tuesday at $1.2167. It was also steady against the euro at €1.1499.

"The FTSE 100 has again had an outstanding day, with the index gaining from the first minute to the last as it reached new all-time highs once more," said Joshua Mahony, market analyst at IG.

"The fact that we are seeing the index hit these new highs in such a fearless manner says a lot about the potential for further gains."

In the FTSE 250, shares in online takeaway food service Just Eat fell 6.9% after it reported sales growth figures. Like-for-like orders grew by 36% in 2016, with UK sales up 31%.

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