The FTSE 100 hits record high for third time in a week

The FTSE 100 reached an all-time record, buoyed in part by a string of positive earnings and merger talks linked to Standard Chartered.

The blue-chip index rose 0.7pc, reaching a record high of 7,943.68, while the midcap FTSE 250 index climbed 0.1pc.

AstraZeneca’s share price jumped by 4.3 per cent, its highest day in almost a year. This was after the drugmaker had predicted earnings growth in 2023.

Unilever’s share rose by 0.4 per cent after the consumer goods giant reported quarterly sales growth that was higher than expected.

Standard Chartered rose 9.0 per cent to the top of FTSE100 after Bloomberg News reported First Abu Dhabi Bank was pushing ahead with an all-cash bid of $30bn-$35bn. This Asia-focused bank is owned by Standard Chartered.

Victoria Scholar, Head of Investment at Interactive Investor said that investors have been looking to the UK market in search of potential takeover targets over the past year, due to the depreciation and increased attractiveness of sterling-priced valuations.

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