FTSE 100's record-breaking streak continues
The FTSE 100's recent record-breaking run showed no sign of ending as the UK's main share index set new intra-day and closing highs.
The index climbed above the 7,500 level for the first time, closing at 7,522.03 points after nine days of gains.
Confidence in the outcome of the UK election and a recovery in commodity stocks helped lift the index, analysts said.
Continuing weakness in the pound also helped, they added.
"Investors seem to be feeling confident about the outlook for Britain under what is expected to be the biggest Conservative party majority since Margaret Thatcher," said Jasper Lawler of LCG.
Laith Khalaf, analyst at Hargreaves Lansdown, said: "Investors will be thinking that the 8,000 mark is hovering into view."
Sterling dipped after the latest UK inflation report, before rallying back to the $1.29 level. The inflation rate jumped to 2.7% last month from 2.3% in March.
Connor Campbell of Spreadex said: "The Bank of England appears reluctant to combat rising prices with a rate hike; combine that with the alarming squeeze on real wages and the pound has little reason for cheer, something that only works in the FTSE's favour."
In general, a weaker pound lifts the FTSE 100 as many companies on the index have significant revenues from overseas. A weak pound means these revenues are worth more when converted back into sterling.
The pound also slipped 0.7% against the euro to 1.1663 euros.
Vodafone was the biggest riser on the FTSE 100, with the mobile giant's shares rising nearly 4% as investors overlooked a hefty annual loss and focused on its upbeat outlook.
It expects profits to rise due to healthy revenues from contract customers.
Hargreaves Lansdown was by far the biggest faller, ending 8.5% after US exchange-traded fund provider Vanguard said it planned to sell directly to investors in Europe for the first time.
Shares in EasyJet fell 7.3% after the airline reported larger-than-expected half-year losses.
The airline recorded a loss of £212m in the six months to March, partly due to the impact of the lower pound and the timing of Easter.