FTSE 100 closes at record 7106.08

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London's top-flight index has closed at an all-time high as the traditional Santa rally boosted blue chip stocks. 

The FTSE 100 rose 37.91 points to 7106.08 after the mining giants put in a strong performance in the first trading session since the Christmas break.

Despite the thin trading volumes, the London market broke above its previous closing high of 7103.98 set on April 27 last year. 

Mining giants Anglo American and Rio Tinto played their parts in pushing the market higher after both rising more than 3%.

However, it was the precious metal stocks Fresnillo and Randgold Resources which emerged as the biggest risers on the London market, soaring 5% and 4% respectively.

Commodities were helped further by a hike in the cost of crude as benchmark Brent lifted 0.6% higher to 56.41 US dollars a barrel.

But airlines and banks missed out on the festive rally, while a profit warning from Bovis Homes saw the housebuilder suffer share losses in the FTSE 250 Index.

David Cheetham, market analyst at online trading group XTB, said: "Observers of the markets have for many years noticed a strong propensity for stocks to rise in the period between Christmas and the New Year and this phenomenon appears to be playing out once more."

He added that falls in the value of the pound against the US dollar and a raft of currencies was also helping the FTSE gain ground.