The markets clearly liked the look of the UK this week

How celebratory!
How celebratory!
Image: AP Photo/Steve Holland
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The FTSE 100, that stalwart index chronicling the ups-and-downs of British industry, had a smashing week. Investors cheered its ascent to the 7,000 threshold, a record. Driving the markets was a continuing healthy expansion under a regime of low interest rates. (The unemployment rate held steady at a six-year low in the most-recent data released this week.)  Stocks also received an extra push higher on the budget that Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne put forward, which eased the government’s austere fiscal position slightly.

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British economic interests also stand to benefit from incipient signs of recovery in Europe, now that the European Central Bank has begun a Fed-style quantitative easing policy. Germany, the Netherlands and France are some of the UK’s top export markets, after the US.