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UK stock markets close at a record high

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UK stock markets climbed to new highs on the final day of trading for 2017.Both the FTSE 100 index of leading blue chip companies and the FTSE 250 reached new records at the close of trading. US stock markets have also hit new peaks over the year, helped by Donald Trump’s sweeping tax reforms. Stephen Eckett, author of the annual Harriman Stock Market Almanac, said: “All the dangers that were anticipated with a Trump administration haven’t materialised.”The FTSE 100 finished up 7.6% at 7,687.77 compared to the last day of trading in 2016. Meanwhile, the FTSE 250 ended 14.7% ahead at 20,726.26.Mr Eckett said: “It has been a little bit of a surprise to many people that markets were are strong as they were this year.”George Salmon, an equity analyst at Hargreaves Lansdown, said the FTSE 100 had been lifted by natural resource giants such as Shell and BP which have benefitted from a rise in oil prices. Brent crude fell as low as $45 per barrel in June but is now trading at $66.34.However, John Botham, global equities product director at City firm, Invesco Perpetual, said that, while the UK’s leading index is at a record high, “the FTSE 100 has performed far less well than the US stock market and indeed many stock markets around the world”.In the US, the main stock market indexes have all risen by more than 20% this year. They have been further boosted by President Donald Trump’s sweeping tax reform.Under the changes, the US corporate tax rate will fall from 35% to 21% in 2018.US markets will hold their final trading session later on Friday.Commenting on the year ahead, Mr Botham said: “We are looking at a situation where global growth seems reasonably well synchronised and we are likely to continue to see earnings growth from companies around the world.”
Source: BBC