FTSE 100 surges to yet another new record high but other top markets stumble and China issues US bond threat
- Today's rally led by retail and bank stocks, as Sainsbury's reports strong Xmas
- London's top index hit a new trading high of 7,756.11 earlier in the session
- It finished at 7,748.51 - up 17.49 points
The FTSE 100 has notched up its fourth closing high in a week, finishing up 17.49 points at 7,748.51 in a surge led by retail and bank stocks.
London's top index also hit a new trading high of 7,756.11 earlier in the session, following a run of gains that has persisted since late last year.
Today's rally turned out to have legs despite a lack of usual support from traders on Wall Street, which is seeing a bout of profit-taking after China threatened to start shunning US government bonds.
Stock surge: The FTSE 100 notched up its fourth closing high in a week
The Dow Jones fell 40.4 points to 25,345.5 in early trading, while Germany's DAX and France's CAC 40 were also in the red due to a stronger euro hitting their export stocks.
David Madden of CMC Markets said: 'Banking and retail stocks are fuelling the positive move.
'Sainsburys shares are in demand today after the retailer stated it had a record Christmas, and it now expects its full-year earnings to be slightly ahead of previous expectations.
'The share price has been pushing higher since November, and if the bullish sentiment continues it could target 260p.'
On US market moves, Madden added: 'Traders are taking their profits on US stocks as government officials in Beijing are going to recommend the Chinese government should cut back on its purchases of US government bonds or perhaps even stop altogether.
'The authorities in China are questioning whether US government bonds represent good value or not.
'Traders are booking their profits on the US equities which have enjoyed a stellar run recently.'
Brent crude helped bolster the FTSE 100 today with a rise to $69.10. The pound was at $1.35 against the dollar and €1.13 versus the euro.
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