NEW YORK, Dec 1(Reuters) - The benchmark S&P 500 index closed at it's highest level of the year on Friday amid growing optimism the Federal Reserve was done raising U.S. interest rates and could begin to cut them next year as inflation cools.

The index closed at 4,594.63 points, up 26.83 points, or 0.59%, and topping the close on July 31 at 4,588.96, which had been the prior high of 2023.

(Reporting by Amruta Khandekar; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama)