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The FTSE 100 touched a new record high on Friday afternoon, as stocks across Europe reversed their early losses.

The UK’s benchmark index, which started the day in the red, touched 7,447 early in the afternoon, just ahead of the intraday record of 7,444 set yesterday. At publication time it was up 0.35 per cent for the day.

The turnround reflected a broader positivity across European equity markets, with the Ibex, Cac 40, Dax and FTSE Mib all turning positive after early slips, and also happened despite an unusually upbeat performance this week for the pound.

Financial groups were among the biggest gainers, with the Euro Stoxx Banks Index hitting a fresh 14-month high after recouping the last of its 2016 losses yesterday.

The midcap FTSE 250 index also briefly touched a new high earlier in the morning, but at publication time was up only 0.07 per cent.

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