LONDON MARKETS: Miners Lead FTSE 100 Higher Toward Record In Holiday-thinned Trade

By Sara Sjolin, MarketWatch Features Dow Jones Newswires

Pound rises

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U.K. traders returned from the Christmas holidays in an upbeat mood on Wednesday, sending the benchmark stock index higher and setting it on track for a record close.

What is the market doing: The FTSE 100 index rose 0.3% to 7,611.40, rebounding from a 0.2% loss on Friday, which was the last trading session before Christmas.

If the London blue chip index holds it Wednesday gain, it'll take out its previous all-time closing high reached on Thursday at 7,603.98.

The pound rose to $1.3389 from $1.3374 late Tuesday in New York.

What's driving the market: Analysts said the general end-of-year portfolio rebalancing was now kicking in, which could drive trade for the rest of the week.

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Mining firms also help to lift the FTSE, tracking positive moves for most metals prices. Only copper declined, falling 0.5% after straight sessions of gains.

Stock movers: Among miners, shares of Fresnillo PLC (FRES.LN) rose 2.1%, Randgold Resources Ltd. (RRS.LN) (RRS.LN) climbed 1.8% and Glencore PLC (GLEN.LN) added 1.6%.

Shares of Royal Dutch Shell PLC (RDSB.LN) (RDSB.LN) gained 1% after the oil major said the potential impact from the U.S. tax reform (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/shell-sees-up-to-25bln-charge-on-us-tax-change-2017-12-27) will be favorable to the group. The company also said it expects a charge to its fourth-quarter earnings of $2 billion to $2.5 billion following the changes to in the U.S., driven by a re-measurement of its deferred tax position to reflect the lower corporate income tax rate.

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

December 27, 2017 04:21 ET (09:21 GMT)