LONDON (Reuters) – Britain’s top share index hit new record highs on Friday, with the index rising above the 7,000 point level for the first time in its history.

The blue-chip FTSE 100 index (.FTSE) rose as much as 0.7 percent to a record high of 7,013.83 points going into the close of the trading session.

Retail investors often use the fact that a stock market has risen above such key levels as a sign that a bull market run has momentum, with Germany’s DAX (.GDAXI) also having advanced past the 12,000 point barrier to set new record highs.

World stock markets have been buoyed by a bond-buying programme from the European Central Bank (ECB) and by record low interest rates, which have pushed down returns on bonds and cash and driven investors to the better returns on offer from shares.

Cement company CRH (CRH.L) was the best-performing FTSE 100 stock in percentage terms on Friday, rising 5.8 percent on expectations it would buy lucrative assets off rivals Holcim (HOLN.VX) and Lafarge (LAFP.PA).

(Reporting by Sudip Kar-Gupta; Editing by Blaise Robinson)