Around the World's Markets: London

BLUE CHIPS romped to a new peak with Footsie gaining 152.4 points to 6,307.6. It was the first time the index has been above 6,300. New York strength, the pound's weakness against the US dollar and hopes that interest rates will go even lower spurred the advance.

Supporting shares, although higher, displayed none of the enthusiasm of their blue chip peers. HSBC, the banking group, led the charge, gaining 113p to 1,783p on hopes that the Hong Kong government will give up its 8.81 per cent stake in the bank.