London’s blue chip index powered nearer the 6200 mark, buoyed by strong trading updates from heavyweight firms, both sides of the Atlantic.
Technology giants Google and IBM beat estimates in the US, whilst closer to home consumer goods group Unilever’s full-year results came in at the top end of City hopes.
The FTSE 100 Index closed up 18.5 points at 6197.6 - reaching another high since May 2008.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average also opened higher in anticipation the House of Representatives will vote to lift the Government’s debt ceiling, giving it enough room to pay its bills for another three months.
Unemployment data, which showed jobless claims for December dropped 12,100, lifted the pound up against the US dollar to 1.58, and up against the euro at 1.19.
The biggest FTSE 100 risers were Tullow Oil up 40p to 1195p, Unilever ahead 75p to 2526p, Marks and Spencer 9.4p higher at 379.1p and Petrofac up 35p to 1735p.
The biggest FTSE 100 fallers were TUI Travel down 14.1p to 278p, SSE off 53p to 1382p, Standard Life 6.8p lower at 336.3p and Compass Group down 13.5p to 746p.