January 13, 2017 / 10:21 AM / 8 months ago

Britain's FTSE hits record highs, extends historic winning streak

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* FTSE 100 touches new record, headed for 14th day of gains

* Pharmaceuticals rebound after Trump scare

* Housebuilders top the index

* ITV buoyed by broker optimism

By Helen Reid

LONDON, Jan 13 (Reuters) - Britain’s blue-chip share index reached new record highs on Friday en route to extending its historic winning streak to a 14th straight day of gains.

The index’s longest winning run since its inception in 1984 has also been notable for the relatively modest daily gains. After touching a further record high of 7,329.29 points, it was last up 0.4 percent at 7,322.68 points at 1005 GMT.

“There are people who want to say this is the moment it’s going to turn around, but each day they get proven wrong,” IG market analyst Josh Mahony said. He added that a likely further devaluation of the pound in the next months would support the index higher. “But the gains are not exuberant.”

Brokers pushed broadcaster ITV to the top of the FTSE. Goldman Sachs added the stock to its conviction list, saying it is a likely M&A target. The broadcaster was also one of JPMorgan’s top picks in the European media sector.

Housebuilders were pushing the FTSE up, with house improvement company Kingfisher headed for its best daily gains since September. Barratt Development led sectoral gains, with Taylor Wimpey and Persimmon not far behind.

“If you want to sleep at night, you’d probably buy a Persimmon or Taylor Wimpey. If you want a bit more rock and roll, you might buy a Redrow or a Bovis,” Jefferies analyst Anthony Coding said.

Pharmaceuticals were buoying the index, rebounding after being weighed down on Thursday by U.S. President-elect Donald Trump’s criticism of high drug prices, and after a meeting of executives of companies including Britain’s Shire to discuss caps on price increases.

Shares in Shire were up 1.2 percent, and peers Astrazeneca and Hikma also gained in early trading, up 1.5 and 1.4 percent.

Rolls Royce dragged on the index, down 2 percent, while Fresnillo lost 1.8 percent, tracking the price of gold, which was down from a 7-week high.

Anglo American, Glencore and BHP Billiton joined the top risers as copper prices increased.

Building materials supplier SIG surged to the top of the mid-cap index, up 10.5 percent after it reported higher full-year sales. Shares were set for their biggest one-day gain since August 2012. Peer Grafton also gained 6.2 pct.

Pub group Mitchells & Butler was also a top gainer, up 5 percent after it reported robust festive trading, though an Investec analyst warned of rising cost inflation and competition, retaining a “sell” recommendation on the stock. (Reporting by Helen Reid; editing by Mark Heinrich)

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