London Markets: FTSE 100 wavers around record high as miners march higher

U.K. stocks swung between small gains and losses on Thursday, but stayed close to a record high as miners continued to march higher on the back of a rally in commodity prices.

What are markets doing: The FTSE 100 index UKX, +0.01%  was marginally higher at 7,622.45, building on a 0.4% gain from Wednesday that was enough for the benchmark to score an all-time closing high.

The pound GBPUSD, +0.3283%  rose to $1.3452, 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 continued higher as copper HGH8, +0.64%  rose for a 16th straight day and traded close to a four-year high. Oil prices were also in an upbeat mood after U.S. inventory data showed a larger-than-expected drop in stockpiles last week.

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, +0.95%  rose 1.2%, Antofagasta PLC ANTO, +0.81%  climbed 0.9% and Rio Tinto PLC RIO, +0.74% RIO, +0.64% RIO, +0.36%  gained 0.8%.

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