THE FTSE 100 completed its run of making small gains every day this week to finish 70 points higher than the close last Friday.
Sentiment was underpinned by hopes over stimulus in China amid signs of a slowdown in the world’s second biggest economy. The FTSE 100 closed up 18.25 points at 7,031.72.
Tony Cross, market analyst at Trustnet Direct, said continuing signs of confidence boded well ahead of the Bank Holiday weekend.
“We’ve got a long weekend approaching so the fact that we have seen a degree of confidence from London equity traders running into this is worth noting – there’s no evident fear however that they will be left on the wrong side of the market on Tuesday.
“London’s blue chip index continues to work its way higher and with a following wind, a test of those all time highs remains very much on the cards.”
Mobile phone giant Vodafone led the London risers’ board as it continued to be boosted by persistent takeover talk suggesting it could be a target for America’s Liberty Global, as well as positive broker comments.
Liberty boss John Malone was recently reported as saying the two firms would be a “great fit”. Shares rose nearly 5 per cent, or 11.2p to 253.8p.
Meanwhile, building materials firm Travis Perkins, which also owns DIY chain Wickes, was higher after Jefferies upgraded its rating on the stock from underperform to buy as the broker took a more positive view of the sector.
Travis improved 32p to 2,208p. FTSE 250 listed kitchen supplier Howden Joinery also received an upgrade from Jefferies, helping it add 7.5p to 508p.
Elsewhere, Whitbread’s decision to appoint Lloyds Banking Group retail chief Alison Brittain as its next chief executive after the retirement of Andy Harrison failed to impress investors. Shares fell by 1 per cent, or 50p to 5,210p.