London’s blue chip share index maintained its new year rally despite gloomy figures showing the UK economy is half way to an unprecedented triple dip recession.
UK gross domestic product (GDP) for the final three months of last year came in at a worse-than-expected 0.3%, but London’s top flight still ended the week more than 2% higher.
The FTSE 100 Index closed up 19.5 points at 6284.5 - its highest level since 2008.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average was also ahead after US new home sales figures posted their first annual gain since 2005.
But growing fears that Britain will be stripped of its gold-plated AAA rating pushed the pound down against the euro to 1.17, but sterling moved up against the US dollar to 1.58.
The disappointing GDP number, which is subject to revision, reinforced the view of some City commentators that the new year share price rally is out of kilter with the current global economic uncertainty.
Signs of recovery in the US economy and a raft of encouraging purchasing managers figures yesterday have contributed to the bullish mood.
And strong earnings from coffee chain Starbucks and household products manufacturer Proctor & Gamble helped boost sentiment.
Rebecca O’Keeffe, head of investment at Interactive Investor, said there appeared to be nothing that could stand in the way of the rally, even figures this week showing Spain’s 26% unemployment rate and the continuing fall in the economic outlook in France.
She added: "Markets may continue to push higher, but complacency is now at dangerously high levels. Far from pricing in downside risks, markets appear to be ignoring them altogether."
The biggest FTSE 100 risers were TUI Travel up 11.1p to 293.1p, Aberdeen Asset Management ahead 9.9p to 415.4p, Sage Group 7.6p higher at 325.7p and Polymetal International up 26p to 1116p.
The biggest FTSE 100 fallers were Eurasian Natural Resources down 8.1p to 331.1p, Randgold Resources off 145p to 6020p, Evraz 6.9p lower at 300p and Kazakhmys down 16.5p to 753.5p.