The S&P 500 clocked its biggest weekly gain in six weeks as the US benchmark index finished Friday with a fresh closing record.

The S&P 500 finished the week 1.5 per cent higher at 2,351.01, led by financials, which rose 2.8 per cent. The financials sector had its best week in ten, buoyed by expectations of higher interest rates and hopes of lighter regulation under US President Donald Trump.

Meanwhile, the Dow Jones Industrial Average advanced 1.8 per cent to 20,624.05 over the past five trading days, while the Nasdaq Composite also gained 1.8 per cent to 5,838.58 over the same period.

US stocks continued to push deeper into record territory this week, riding a wave of investor optimism on the US economy, stronger corporate profits and the Trump trade. Indeed, the value of stocks listed on the S&P 500 topped $20tn for the first time on Monday, although the rally took a breather towards the end of the week.

Investors even appeared to ignore a more hawkish tone struck by Federal Reserve chair Janet Yellen during her testimony this week, paying attention instead to her upbeat assessment of the US economy. By the end of the week, investors appeared to pace themselves as they contemplated Mr Trump’s promised tax cuts.

US markets will be closed on Monday in observance of President’s Day.

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