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FTSE 100 Index records all-time closing high for third day

An office worker looks at a graph showing movement in the FTSE 100 Index. Credit: PA

The FTSE 100 Index has recorded an all-time closing high for the third day in a row.

London's blue chip index soared to a closing high of 7,142.83 on Friday, up 22.57 points from Thursday.

The top-flight index had hit a mid-session record of 7129.83 on October 11, boosted in part by the collapse in the value of the pound since the Brexit vote.

It came as London emerged as the best performer out of the major European stock markets this year, finishing 2016 more than 14% higher despite Britain's voted to leave the European Union on June 23.

The pound's fall, triggered by Britain's decision to quit the EU, has proved beneficial for multinational companies listed on the index as many tend to benefit from earnings in currencies - such as the US dollar - which are stronger than sterling.

On Friday, sterling slumped further against the euro, falling 0.1% to 1.16 euro. The pound was up 0.5% against the dollar at 1.23.

Sterling remains 18% down against the greenback and 11% lower versus the euro since the Brexit vote in June.

European markets up in following Wednesday's turmoil

Markets across Europe have fought back after a volatile day of stock market trading yesterday which aroused fears of a global slump.

The FTSE 100 index was up 0.5% in the first few minutes of trading - having fallen more than 3% yesterday.

Germany's Dax was up 0.5% and the Cac 40 in France 0.6% higher.

Yesterday the markets were in turmoil leading to £52 billion being wiped off the FTSE 100.

Asian markets did little to dispel fears with Tokyo's Nikkei index closing earlier 2.43% down.

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Portuguese political crisis hits FTSE 100

The FTSE 100 was down by 1.6% due to the political crisis in Portugual, which was inflamed last night when finance minister and leader of the junior partner in the coalition resigned.

A view of the information screens at the London Stock Exchange. Credit: Yui Mok/PA Archive

Portugal's high borrowing costs have caused a crisis in the country and may hit their attempts at a recovery.

The slowdown in China's services sector and fears that the Egyptian crisis will push up oil prices have also contributed to the dismal display by international markets.

FTSE 100 falls after Cyprus bank accounts tax plans

Cyprus's shock plans to impose a tax on bank accounts as part of its bailout package has seen the FTSE 100 fall by one per cent this morning with banks suffering the sharpest falls.

By 0829 GMT, the FTSE 100 was down 62.31 points, or one per cent, at 6,427.34.

News of the planned bank accounts levy in Cyprus has hit the FTSE 100.

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Directors' pay rises seven times faster than average

FTSE 100 directors' pay has risen over seven times faster than average wages, pay analysts have said.

According to Incomes Data Services (IDS), non-executive chairmen of top companies received average pay rises of six per cent last year, giving them earnings of nearly £400,000.

FTSE 100 directors' pay has risen over seven times faster than average wages Credit: Dave Thompson/PA Wire

The research has revealed that among FTSE firms, average fees ranged from £270,000 in technology businesses to over half a million pounds in oil and gas companies.

Average fees for non-executive directors increased by four per cent last year, to £64,000.

FTSE 100 closes 11.8 points higher ahead of Greek elections

The FTSE 100 Index has closed 11.8 points higher at 5478.8 after reports that the US Federal Reserve, Bank of Japan and Bank of England were drawing up plans to cushion the blow of a Greek default.

The London market kept its head above water on hopes that central banks globally are ready to act if this weekend's election in Greece ultimately leads to the debt-laden country leaving the euro.

The pound was up against the euro at 1.23 as the single currency weakened ahead of Sunday's Greek poll, while sterling was also ahead against the US dollar at 1.56.

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