Blue chip shares headed towards a record twelth day of consecutive gains buoyed by a weak pound and expectations of a large US industrial stimulus package.

The FTSE 100 Index lifted 7.5 points to 7283, on course for the longest rising run since its inception in 1984. The FTSE 250 Index fell 25.2 points to 18388.1.

Commodities have been rising as traders bet these firms will benefit from the $1trn (£818m) package promised by US President-elect Donald Trump.

Miner Anglo American rose 34p to 1271.5p, BHP Billiton lifted 21p to 1421p and Rio Tinto was 34.5p higher at 3328p.

IG market analyst Joshua Mahony said: "The incredible bullish sentiment seems to be borne out of a concoction of a weak pound, loose monetary policy, rising commodity prices and expectations of increased US fiscal stimulus."

The pound was again weaker against a basket of major currencies. Footsie shares are more appealing to investors when the pound falls because most of these firm's sales are earned aboard, boosting revenues when translated back into sterling.

Supermarket Sainsbury's, was the top flight's best performer after posting a record Christmas week racking up sales of more than £1bn ($1.2bn, €1.15bn).

The supermarket giant said key same-store sales across the group edged up 0.1% in the period. But it added total sales at Sainsbury's rose 0.8%, while total sales at Argos, which it bought last year, lifted 4.1%. Shares rose almost 4%, or 9.6p to 268.4p.

The biggest risers in the FTSE 100 Index were Sainsbury's (+9.6p to 268.4p), Dixons Carphone (+12.4p to 357p), BT Group (+11.4p to 399.1p), Anglo American (+34p to 1271.5p) and Smiths Group (+27p to 1510p).

The biggest fallers in the FTSE 100 Index were TUI (-55p to 1136p), Babcock International (-23p to 929.5p), Direct Line (-7p to 350p), Fresnillo (-27p to 1405p) and Royal Bank of Scotland (-3.5p to 223.1p).

The biggest risers in the FTSE 250 Index were Evraz (+9.5p to 218p), Spectris (+102p to 2488p), Pagegroup (+14.8p to 407.8p), Debenhams (+1.7p to 54.4p) and AO World (+5.4p to 186.6p).

The biggest fallers in the FTSE 250 Index were Cobham (-26.4p to 138.2p), Thomas Cook (-3.7p to 84.7p), Tullow Oil (-9.8p to 313p), Virgin Money (-9.5p to 320.5p) and Bodycote (-18p to 626p).

Shares up
London's main benchmark headed towards a record 12th day of gains iStock