By Elena Vardon

The U.K.'s flagship stock index hit a fresh record on Friday in its fifth consecutive session of advances, soaring past recent highs to touch over 8,450 points in morning trading.

London's blue-chip index rose after data showed that the U.K. economy returned to growth in the first three months of the year, taking it out of recession territory. Gross domestic product between January and March was 0.6% higher than in the previous three-month period, according to the Office for National Statistics.

The index has been steadily climbing since the start of the year as markets react to signs of slowing inflation and hopes for interest-rate cuts. "The FTSE 100 has been largely unmoved from its bullish trajectory," Scope Markets analyst Joshua Mahoney wrote in a market comment.

At 1055 GMT, it traded 0.77% higher, potentially putting it on track to close at another all-time high of 8,446 points. Year to date, the index has gained 9.2%.

The stock market index--which tracks the 100 largest companies by market capitalization listed on the London Stock Exchange--was launched in 1984 and is one of the most internationally-focused indexes; its constituents derive large chunks of their revenue from abroad.

"Given its international horizons, this has little to do with the U.K.'s better-than-expected GDP growth and is largely being driven by strength in the resources space where higher metals prices and the promise of M&A are helping to stoke share prices," AJ Bell investment director Russ Mould wrote in a market comment. Next week's U.S. inflation figures will test the FTSE's "new-found vim and vigor," he added.

Miners Glencore, Antofagasta and Anglo American were among the index's best performers in the late morning.

Write to Elena Vardon at

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

05-10-24 0715ET