US deal helps FTSE break 6000 barrier
Cheer over America's fiscal cliff deal sent the FTSE 100 Index soaring past the 6000 mark for the first time since July 2011 yesterday in a global shares rally.
Markets worldwide powered ahead after US politicians passed short-term measures to stave off devastating automatic tax hikes and spending cuts that had threatened to derail the world's biggest economy.
The FTSE 100 surged 2.2% ahead, closing 129.6 points higher at 6027.4, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average on Wall Street leapt 1.7% higher shortly after opening.
There were similar share gains across Europe, with Germany's Dax up by more than 2% and France's Cac 40 up 2.6%.
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A surprise boost for Britain's manufacturing sector added to the rally in London after a closely-watched survey revealed a return to growth in December. The latest Markit/CIPS purchasing managers' index (PMI) showed a headline reading of 51.4 in December, marking the highest for 15 months and the survey's first indication of increased activity since March.
Meanwhile, the US dollar weakened against major currencies as traders moved to reverse their recent flight to the safe haven of the greenback.
Sterling rose to 1.63 dollars, while it also strengthened to 1.23 euros.