Opening Bell: FTSE's record-day, poll says euro and dollar will hit parity, Irish support for the EU grows

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London's FTSE 100 closed at a record high last night - topping another record set on Wednesday.

The index climbed as demand for precious metals grew - with gold rallying as 2016 draws to a close.

The ISEQ index of Irish shares recovered by 0.3% yesterday. However, it is set for a decline of more than 4% over the past 12 months, making it its poorest year since 2010.

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Two thirds of leading economists who took part in a Financial Times poll believe that the euro and US dollar will hit parity at some point in 2017 as US president-elect Donald Trump pursues fiscal stimulus programmes.

€1 currently buys $1.05 - that's down from $1.59 in 2008.

The value of the euro against the US dollar has dropped by 4% in 2016.

Most of the economists believe that the Fed will hike interest rates twice in 2017.

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Ireland is the state that is least likely to leave the EU according to a new RED C poll.

When asked how they would vote if there was referendum on membership of the European Union, 80% of Irish citizens suggest they would vote to remain in the EU.

The Union appears to be relatively secure as the percentage of people in Germany, France and Belgium who would vote to leave has fallen during the past 12 months.

The EU's latest Eurobarometer poll last month also found that Ireland is the most pro-Europe state in the Union.

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57 nurses have been offered contracts by the HSE over the past two days.

Today is the final day of the Health Service's three day recruitment drive at Dr. Steeven's Hospital in Dublin.

The HSE has one thousand permanent nursing jobs to fill, but says it never expected to fill all of the positions in this short space of time.

Any nurses interested in returning to work in the Irish Health Service is being asked to forward their details to the HSE.