London Markets: FTSE 100 inches to record close as miners march higher

U.K. stocks closed at a record in choppy trade Thursday as miners extended gains on the back of a broad rally in commodity prices.

What are markets doing: The FTSE 100 index UKX, +0.03%  ended 2.20 points, or 0.03%, higher at 7,622.88, building on a 0.4% gain from Wednesday. Even with Thursday’s tiny advance, the index closed at a record high.

The pound GBPUSD, +0.3582%  rose to $1.3445, up from $1.3401 on Wednesday. The pound strength was largely an effect of a broad-based dollar selloff that came after U.S. Treasury yields tumbled on Wednesday.

What is driving the market: U.K. stocks were mainly lifted by commodities companies that extended gains as copper HGH8, +0.79%  rose for a 16th straight day and traded close to a four-year high.

More broadly, volumes were thin on Thursday with many investors expected to stay on vacation until after the New Year holiday.

Stock movers: Among miners, shares of Anglo American PLC AAL, +0.89%  rose 0.9%, Antofagasta PLC ANTO, +0.81%  climbed 0.8% and Rio Tinto PLC RIO, +1.54% RIO, +1.97% RIO, +0.36%  gained 1.5%.

BT Group PLC BT.A, -2.52%  fell 0.8% and British American Tobacco PLC BATS, -0.99% BTI, +0.16%  lost 0.1%, both falling as their shares went ex-dividend, meaning they traded without the rights to the latest declared dividend.

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