FTSE 100 hits record close again as index breaks 7,500 mark

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The FTSE 100 Index has closed above 7,500 for the first time as higher-than-forecast inflation data and confidence over Britain's prospects under a Tory government drove stocks higher.

London's blue chip index reached a mid-session record of 7,533.70 points in afternoon trading, before settling at an all-time closing high of 7,522.03 - up 67.66 points or 0.9% for the day. 

It was a third consecutive record close for the FTSE 100, which reached 7,454.37 a day earlier.

Markets were reacting positively to signs that Theresa May's Conservative Party will secure a majority in the General Election on June 8, while investors started to abandon bonds for stocks after data showed inflation reached 2.7% in April.

Jasper Lawler, a senior market analyst at London Capital Group, said: "The UK stock market reached a new milestone today when the FTSE 100 hit 7,500 for the first time.

"Investors seem to be feeling confident about the outlook for Britain under what is expected to be the biggest Conservative Party majority since Margaret Thatcher.

He also pointed to the latest release of Consumer Price Index (CPI) data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS), which showed price inflation in the UK reached its highest level since September 2013.

CPI rose to 2.7% last month as the Brexit-hit pound, electricity price hikes and rising air fares tightened the squeeze on consumer spending.

"Rising inflation tends to make stocks relatively more attractive to bonds, which could make the next big hurdle for the FTSE of 8,000 more achievable," Mr Lawler added.