European markets open higher on 9 July
London main benchmark surged past 7500 points for the first time

The London market surged past 7,500 points for the first time in afternoon trading, shrugging off inflation hitting its highest rate for four years.

The FTSE 100 Index lifted 49.7 points to 7505.1, undaunted that Consumer Prices Index inflation hit 2.7% last month, up from 2.3% in March. The FTSE 250 Index rose 35.4 points to 19786.5.

This is the highest level of inflation since September 2013, as the squeeze on household budgets intensifies. The rate is above the Bank of England's 2% target, as rising prices for clothing, vehicle excise duty and electricity were also among the factors contributing to higher inflation in April.

However, a broad range of consumer-focused companies lead the top-flight charge, which has seen the market hit a series of all-time highs over the last few weeks.

IG chief market analyst at Chris Beauchamp said: "Another day, another record high for the FTSE 100. There seems no stopping the UK's stock market, with the mid-cap 250 having made a fresh all-time high just a week ago."

The biggest blue-chip riser was mobile phone giant Vodafone, which rose almost 4% despite posting a €6.1bn (£5.2bn, $6.7bn) full-year loss after writing down the value of its Indian business.

However, the group managed to reassure investors on growth next year, predicting a rise in adjusted earnings growth of between 4% and 8%, excluding its Indian unit, and free cash flow of around €5bn, up from €4.1bn compared with 12 months ago. Shares lifted 8.1p to 219.2p.

The biggest afternoon risers in the FTSE 100 Index were Vodafone (+8.1p to 219.2p), Ashtead Group (+33p to 1640p), Kingfisher (+6.1p to 355.1p), Reckitt Benckiser (+108p to 7471p) and British American Tobacco (+78p to 5472p).

The biggest afternoon fallers in the FTSE 100 Index were EasyJet (-70p to 1240p), Hargreaves Lansdown (-59p to 1388p), Micro Focus International (-74p to 2426p), DCC (-210p to 7155p) and United Utilities (-15p to 1011p).

The biggest afternoon risers in the FTSE 250 Index were Countryside Properties (+12.4p to 290.3p), NMC Health (+78p to 2163p), Virgin Money (+9.2p to 309p), Evraz (+4.7p to 193.6p) and Kaz Minerals (+11.5p to 474.1p).

The biggest afternoon fallers in the FTSE 250 Index were BTG (-71p to 651p), CYBG (-13.8p to 276.3p), Crest Nicholson (-19.5p to 617p), Ted Baker (-53p to 2538p) and Wizz Air Holdings (-30p to 1913p).