The FTSE 100 hit a new peak on its first day of trading of the year as global markets benefited from rising oil prices and strong manufacturing data.
The Times reports the FTSE 100 reached a high of 7,205.45 yesterday, before closing at 7,177.89.
The London market posted its fourth consecutive high for the first time since the end of 1999.
It follows a strong end to 2016, dubbed the “Santa rally”. The FTSE 100 was 14.4 per cent higher over the year, outperforming other major indices.
France’s CAC 40 inde closed at its highest in 13 months, up 0.35 per cent at 4,899.33 points, but Germany’s DAX slowed 0.12 per cent to 11,584.24.
The Dow Jones also saw gains, before falling to 19,800.
Concerns remain about future returns across Europe ahead of elections in Netherlands, Germany and France.
But analysts at Barclays say “earnings, not elections, should be the key driver of equities in 2017 . . . After stagnating for over half a decade, we think European earnings will finally start to grow.”