UK stock markets close at a record high – BBC News

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UK stock markets climbed to a record high on the final day of trading for 2017.

The FTSE 100 index of leading blue chip company stocks finished up nearly 1% at 7,687.77.

Meanwhile, the FTSE 250 ended higher at 20,726.26.

Over the year, the FTSE 100 was 7.6% higher than on the last day of trading in 2016. The FTSE 250 is ahead 14.6% over the same period. US stock markets have also hit new highs this year.

Stephen Eckett, author of the annual guide to stock market performance, the Harriman Stock Market Almanac, said: “It has been a little bit of a surprise to many people that markets were are strong as they were this year.”

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”.

The two leading US indexes have both risen by more than 20% so far 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.”