LONDON MARKETS: FTSE 100 Inches To Record Close As Miners March Higher

By Sara Sjolin, MarketWatch Features Dow Jones Newswires

Copper rises for 16th straight session

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U.K. stocks closed at a record in choppy trade Thursday as miners extended gains on the back of a broad rally in commodity prices.

What are markets doing: The FTSE 100 index ended 2.20 points, or 0.03%, higher at 7,622.88, building on a 0.4% gain from Wednesday. Even with Thursday's tiny advance, the index closed at a record high.

The pound rose to $1.3445, up from $1.3401 on Wednesday. The pound strength was largely an effect of a broad-based dollar selloff (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/dollar-index-drops-to-multiweek-lows-after-us-bond-yields-tumble-2017-12-28) that came after U.S. Treasury yields tumbled on Wednesday.

What is driving the market: U.K. stocks were mainly lifted by commodities companies that extended gains as copper rose for a 16th straight day and traded close to a four-year high.

More broadly, volumes were thin on Thursday with many investors expected to stay on vacation until after the New Year holiday.

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Stock movers: Among miners, shares of Anglo American PLC (AAL.LN) rose 0.9%, Antofagasta PLC (ANTO.LN) climbed 0.8% and Rio Tinto PLC (RIO) (RIO) (RIO) gained 1.5%.

BT Group PLC (BT.A.LN) fell 0.8% and British American Tobacco PLC (BATS.LN) (BATS.LN) lost 0.1%, both falling as their shares went ex-dividend, meaning they traded without the rights to the latest declared dividend.

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

December 28, 2017 12:05 ET (17:05 GMT)