FTSE 100 continues festive rally

London's FTSE 100 Index returned today to the level seen before the collapse of Lehman Brothers as its festive rally continued unabated.

A gain of more than 30 points sent the Footsie above 5440 at one stage - a high not seen since US investment bank Lehman went into administration on September 15 2008, plunging global stock markets into turmoil.



Recent strong gains have helped the FTSE 100 regain dire losses suffered in the wake of the financial crisis, which at one stage left the blue chip index at a six-year low.



But since slumping to just above 3500 in March, the top tier has made a marked recovery as global economies have begun returning to growth.



London's top stocks are now on course for their fifth straight day of gains after a rally that began before the Christmas break and is showing no sign of abating amid cautious optimism for the year ahead.



It is the London market's first day of trading since the Christmas holidays, but a festive surge among other indices open for trading yesterday helped put UK stocks on the front foot.



The Dow Jones Industrial Average on Wall Street and Germany's Dax both hit fresh highs for the year.



Cameron Peacock, market analyst at IG Markets, said the rally reflected heightened volatility caused by low levels of trading and little in the way of corporate or economic news.



He added: "Volumes are expected to be relatively low with many taking an extended break into the New Year so this could add to overall levels of volatility.



"But at least for the time being, the market seems intent on remaining in a bullish mood as the decade draws to a close."



The FTSE 100 has risen more than 200 points in the last week, with gains today seen across a range of sectors.



Mining stocks were again among those leading the way, while property firms such as British Land and Segro made strong gains.



British Airways shares were also in the spotlight after the alleged bomb attack on a US plane on Christmas Day.



Shares in US airlines were down by as much as 4% overnight and BA was down almost 1% today.



Experts believe equities in general should hold firm in positive territory for the final trading days of 2009.



But there are mixed forecasts for the year ahead. Share Centre chief executive Gavin Oldham believes the looming general election and fall-out from ballooning public spending levels will hold progress back on the FTSE 100.



He predicts a 2010 year-end almost unchanged from this year's, at 5450.



Richard Hunter, head of UK equities at Hargreaves Lansdown Stockbrokers, is pencilling in a rosier year for UK stocks, with a prediction for a 2010 close at 6000.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
News
Bobbi Kristina Brown with her mother Whitney Houston in 2011
people
News
The actress Geraldine McEwan was perhaps best known for playing Agatha Christie's detective, Miss Marple (Rex)
peopleShe won a Bafta in 1991 for her role in Oranges Are Not The Only Fruit
News
peopleHere's what Stephen Fry would say
Sport
David Silva celebrates with Sergio Aguero after equalising against Chelsea
footballChelsea 1 Manchester City 1
PROMOTED VIDEO
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
Arts and Entertainment
Caroline Proust as Captain Laure Berthaud in 'Spiral'
tvReview: Gritty, engaging and well-acted - it’s a wonder France’s biggest TV export isn’t broadcast on a more mainstream channel
Arts and Entertainment
music
Arts and Entertainment
Laura Carmichael in still from Madam Bovary trailer
film
News
i100
Sport
Serena Williams holds the Australian Open title
sportAustralia Open 2015 final report
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

Recruitment Genius: Software Development Manager

£40000 - £50000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...

Ashdown Group: Product Manager - (Product Marketing, Financial Services)

£30000 - £35000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: Marketing Manager - Marke...

Recruitment Genius: Compliance Assistant

£13000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This Pension Specialist was established ...

Ashdown Group: Market Research Executive

£23000 - £26000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: Market Research Executive...

Day In a Page

As in 1942, Germany must show restraint over Greece

As in 1942, Germany must show restraint over Greece

Mussolini tried to warn his ally of the danger of bringing the country to its knees. So should we, says Patrick Cockburn
Britain's widening poverty gap should be causing outrage at the start of the election campaign

The short stroll that should be our walk of shame

Courting the global elite has failed to benefit Britain, as the vast disparity in wealth on display in the capital shows
Homeless Veterans appeal: The rise of the working poor: when having a job cannot prevent poverty

Homeless Veterans appeal

The rise of the working poor: when having a job cannot prevent poverty
Prince Charles the saviour of the nation? A new book highlights concerns about how political he will be when he eventually becomes king

Prince Charles the saviour of the nation?

A new book highlights concerns about how political he will be when he eventually becomes king
How books can defeat Isis: Patrick Cockburn was able to update his agenda-setting 'The Rise of Islamic State' while under attack in Baghdad

How books can defeat Isis

Patrick Cockburn was able to update his agenda-setting 'The Rise of Islamic State' while under attack in Baghdad
Judith Hackitt: The myths of elf 'n' safety

Judith Hackitt: The myths of elf 'n' safety

She may be in charge of minimising our risks of injury, but the chair of the Health and Safety Executive still wants children to be able to hurt themselves
The open loathing between Barack Obama and Benjamin Netanyahu just got worse

The open loathing between Obama and Netanyahu just got worse

The Israeli PM's relationship with the Obama has always been chilly, but going over the President's head on Iran will do him no favours, says Rupert Cornwell
French chefs get 'le huff' as nation slips down global cuisine rankings

French chefs get 'le huff' as nation slips down global cuisine rankings

Fury at British best restaurants survey sees French magazine produce a rival list
Star choreographer Matthew Bourne gives young carers a chance to perform at Sadler's Wells

Young carers to make dance debut

What happened when superstar choreographer Matthew Bourne encouraged 27 teenage carers to think about themselves for once?
Design Council's 70th anniversary: Four of the most intriguing prototypes from Ones to Watch

Design Council's 70th anniversary

Four of the most intriguing prototypes from Ones to Watch
Art should not be a slave to the ideas driving it

Art should not be a slave to the ideas driving it

Critics of Tom Stoppard's new play seem to agree that cerebral can never trump character, says DJ Taylor
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's winter salads will make you feel energised through February

Bill Granger's winter salads

Salads aren't just a bit on the side, says our chef - their crunch, colour and natural goodness are perfect for a midwinter pick-me-up
England vs Wales: Cool head George Ford ready to put out dragon fire

George Ford: Cool head ready to put out dragon fire

No 10’s calmness under pressure will be key for England in Cardiff
Michael Calvin: Time for Old Firm to put aside bigotry and forge new links

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Time for Old Firm to put aside bigotry and forge new links