The UK’s FTSE-100 index of leading shares has hit an all-time high.

The index achieved its highest-ever close of 7901.8 points, up 81.64 points on the day, trumping the previous all-time high set in May 2018. It recorded an all-time intra-day high of 7906.58 during today’s session.

Richard Stone, chief executive of the Association of Investment Companies industry body, said: “With headlines dominated by the cost-of-living crisis, war in Ukraine, rising interest rates and strikes, it may seem strange that the index of the largest 100 companies listed on the London Stock Exchange has set a new all-time high. This has been driven by the strong performance of oil and gas companies and banks, which dominate the FTSE-100.”

The AIC noted the FTSE Mid-250 index, which it observed is "more directly related to the fortunes of the UK economy", was "still a little way short of the levels it held in May 2018 and is some 15% below its all-time high set in 2021".

The FTSE Mid-250 closed at 20,593.46, down 21.23 points on the day.

Mr Stone said: "The FTSE-250 is more diverse and contains companies more focused on the UK. It is some way below its record highs. However, it has performed well recently and is up over 20% from the levels it dipped to last October.

“Markets are forward-looking. They tend to turn ahead of the overall economic indicators and are adding some weight to the Bank of England’s view that the UK economy might be turning a corner. We may still be heading into a recession, but markets now believe inflation has peaked and are looking ahead to a time when rates may start falling once again."