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New Year Sees FTSE Hit Record High

The FTSE 100 began 2017 by hitting a record high 7,205.21.00 points before closing lower at 7,177.89 while Hong Kong and European markets also enjoyed positive starts to the new year.

UK banks contributed to the upward surge with Barclays, Lloyds, RBS and Standard Chartered all jumping in the first trading session of 2017.

In Hong Kong, the Hang Seng index rose for the fourth consecutive trading session, up 0.7% on the back of China's solid manufacturing surveys which generated optimism to help offset the negative impact of a strong U.S. dollar.

China’s factory activity unexpectedly picked up in December due to an increased demand but gains were capped as a result of concerns over a rising U.S. currency making emerging markets less attractive.

In Europe, the Stoxx 600 rose 0.72 percent climbing to its highest level since 2015 as most sectors traded in positive territory with Banks again amongst the best performers.

Meanwhile, U.S. stocks bounced back from a three-day losing streak at the end of 2016 to open higher in its first trading day of the new calendar year. The S&P 500 gained 1% while the Dow Jones industrial average looks set to surpass the 20,000 points mark.

© 2017 Guardian Wealth Management