British Queen celebrates


Britain's stock market scored a record high Tuesday as share prices were boosted by the weak pound, which lifts exporters, and a recent bounce in oil prices.

At about 1120 GMT, London's FTSE 100 index of top blue-chip companies jumped to 7,129.83 points, beating the previous record set on April 27, 2015.

"There's been two key factors driving the FTSE to record highs," Oanda analyst Craig Erlam told AFP.

"The first is the dramatic depreciation of the pound, as a large proportion of FTSE 100 company profits are generated abroad. The weak pound therefore boosts earnings in sterling terms."

The energy-heavy benchmark FTSE 100 index has also been buoyed by Monday's rebound in oil prices.


"A rise in the price of oil is obviously beneficial for these companies as it increases their profitability," Erlam said.

"It will also be welcome as they have suffered considerably over the last couple of years as oil lost three quarter of its value.

"It could also spur more investment, something that has declined dramatically, which will help generate future earnings growth."

Oil prices had soared Monday on comments from President Vladimir Putin that Moscow was ready to align with OPEC's push to limit production and address a supply glut.

That helped send the FTSE higher, despite slender losses in Tuesday deals.

"While the most recent Brexit drama has dominated headlines, Brent Crude has gradually built its way back -- something that has helped lift the UK's all-important commodity stocks," added Spreadex analyst Connor Campbell.

The pound has collapsed in value against the euro and dollar since Britain's shock EU exit referendum on June 23.

Sterling spiralled lower last week after Prime Minister Theresa May declared she would kick-start the two-year Brexit process before the end of March.

The downwards move climaxed in Asian trade on Friday when a so-called flash-crash, partly generated by automated trading, sent the pound crashing.

Sterling touched a 31-year dollar low at $1.1841 before clawing back some ground. The euro also hit a six-and-a-half-year high against sterling at 94.15 pence. afp