So much for the Santa rally: FTSE 100 falls off record high

The FTSE 100 has finished the day lower, having nudged a record high this morning.

The bluechip index closed 0.15 per cent lower, at 7,592.66 points. Earlier in the day, it had risen to a record 7,611.75 points, up from yesterday's closing high of 7,609.69.

Before that, the last time it set a record was June, when it rose to 7,598.99 points.

Next was the index's main riser, after it rose 3.7 per cent to 4,567 points as analysts suggested retailers were taking advantage of Christmas panic.

Research by retail sales aggregator showed a nine per cent spike in the volume of products being discounted this week, with a six per cent year-on-year rise in the number of products on sale.

Investors were also cheered by stronger than expected GDP data, which showed the UK's economy grew 1.7 per cent in the third quarter, up from estimates of 1.5 per cent.

Chris Beauchamp, chief market analyst at IG, suggested yesterday's vote in Catalonia had hit European equities.

"The FTSE 100 is finishing in suitably festive fashion, having carved out a new record high this morning.

"Meanwhile in Europe the atmosphere is less convivial, as risk assets take a knock following the Separatists’ narrow victory in the Catalonia poll yesterday.

"2017 saw a number of political risk events, but none have been quite as interesting or as durable as the Catalonian issue. This, perhaps more than Brexit, threatens to be the problem to watch in 2018.

"European stocks have not managed to outperform their US counterparts in 2017, instead lagging by about 50 per cent. Once again following the crowd into European markets did not produce the expected stellar return, but a 14 per cent return is still not to be sniffed at."

Read more: Even with a Santa Rally, the FTSE 100 looks a sick man compared to others

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