FTSE 100 edges closer to record high

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The FTSE 100 was within range of a fresh record high on Friday after mining and banking stocks rose.

Shortly after midday the UK’s benchmark share index was up 19.06 points at 7.542.10, but it had touched 7,560 earlier which is above the record close of 7,556.24 hit last week.

Rising copper prices boosted mining shares, with Antofagasta up 2.6%.

Banks also supported the index, with Standard Chartered up 2.5% and Royal Bank of Scotland 1.7% higher.

Intercontinental Hotels Group slid 0.9% despite the Holiday Inn owner reporting rising third-quarter revenues.

The company said that the key measure of revenue per available room, or RevPAR, rose 2.3% in the three months to September.

However, there was a big split between its performance in Europe and the Americas. In Europe, RevPAR jumped 7.1% as tourists returned to markets previously hit by terror attacks, but in the Americas it was up just 0.8% in a quarter affected by hurricanes Harvey and Irma.

On the currency markets, the pound rose 0.2% against the dollar to $1.3181 and was up 0.6% against the euro at €1.1159.

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