LONDON Britain's blue-chip FTSE .FTSE index was poised to post its longest winning streak on record as a weak sterling continued to underpin gains.
The index has closed higher the past 11 sessions. If it closes up today it will mark the longest streak of gains since the index's inception in January 1984, according to Thomson Reuters Eikon data.
The FTSE 100 opened lower but reversed course to inch 0.2 percent higher by afternoon trading as sterling GBP= slid after data showed the UK trade deficit widened.
A weak currency has brightened the earnings outlook for UK blue chips, which get much of their revenue offshore.
However, the index's 3.4 percent drift higher since the latest string of gains began on December 21 is relatively muted compared with prior streaks. Its last 11-day winning streak in July 2009 saw the index rise 11.1 percent.
"The FTSE has not exploded higher, it has inched higher," said Michael Hewson, CMC Markets analyst.
Gold mining stocks Fresnillo (FRES.L) and Randgold Resources (RRS.L) were the best performing stocks through the latest rally, up 28.8 percent and 18.4 percent respective. Persimmon (PSN.L), Glencore (GLEN.L) and Anglo American (AAL.L) round out the top five.
At the other end of table, bruised retailer Next PLC (NXT.L) is the worst performing stock on the index, down 16.4 percent since Dec 21, followed by a 3 percent declines for Marks & Spencer (MKS.L) and Rolls Royce (RR.L).
(Editing by Vikram Subhedar and Tom Heneghan)