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FTSE 100 climbs above 7,000 for the first time as CRH gains

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Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange shortly after the opening bell in New York.  Reuters

Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange shortly after the opening bell in New York. Reuters

REUTERS

Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange shortly after the opening bell in New York. Reuters

The UK's FTSE 100 Index climbed above 7,000 for the first time while many other European stocks rose near an all-time high as miners and oil shares led gains.

In Dublin, the ISEQ advanced 107.18 points, or 1.8pc, to a new seven-year high of 6,183.8 points. The Stoxx Europe 600 Index advanced 0.8pc to 404.01 at the close of trading and is now just 0.4pc away from a record close in March 2000.

In Dublin, gainers included heavyweight CRH which closed up 5.6pc at €25.62 on hopes the merger of two rivals is back on track. Bank of Ireland advanced 3.6pc to 37.4 cent but Zamano fell 4pc to 12 cent after the game maker released earnings on Thursday.

Kenmare was the biggest mover; advancing 21pc to 7 cent. It was a similar story elsewhere for miners. Anglo American and Glencore climbed more than 4.7pc, while Total advanced 2.5pc, pushing commodity shares higher.

The FTSE 100 climbed 0.9pc to 7,022.51. The index first surpassed its 2000 record last month, having taken more than 15 years for it to regain all the losses from the burst of the tech bubble.

The Stoxx 600 exceeded its 2007 peak on Thursday on speculation the Federal Reserve won't rush to raise rates. It has rallied 18pc this year amid optimism the European Central Bank's stimulus will revive the region's economy, while a weakening euro will boost profits. The equities gauge is up 1.9pc this week for a seventh straight gain.

"This year's rally in Europe is the start of something rather than the end of it," said Ben Kumar, who helps oversee about $12bn at Seven Investment Management in London.

The Greek ASE Index rose 2.pc, among the best performers in 18 western-European markets, as National Bank of Greece and Alpha Bank jumped more than 12pc.

Greece could win an infusion of bailout money as soon as next week, an EU official told reporters in Brussels.

FTSE 100 climbs above 7,000 for the first time as CRH gains

Irish Independent