Market Report: Santa Rally shows no signs of slowing

 

The Santa Rally shows no signs of slowing, with the top-flight index closing on its sixth day of gains, its best run since October.

Despite slim volumes, the FTSE closed up 56.7 points at 6,750.87, while Wall Street also hit fresh all-time highs. The run of gains marks the Footsie’s hottest winning streak in two months.

But the index wasn’t helped by a flat retail sector, with traders unimpressed by Boxing Day sales.

Despite frenzied efforts to pull punters away from their computer screens and into stores, the retail data firm Springboard revealed that just 0.5 per cent more shoppers visited the Boxing Day sales compared with a year earlier. Meanwhile research by IBM showed that online shopping rose 40 per cent this year.

Marks & Spencer added 4p to 449.5p; Debenhams ticked up 0.2p to 81.6p, Next was up 20p to 5,455p, Argos owner Home Retail Group stepped up 1.3p to 191.3p, and B&Q owner Kingfisher slid 1.9p to 385.1p. And despite Dixons’ chief executive Sebastian James tweeting that this Boxing Day was its “biggest sales day EVER”, the electrical retailer short-circuited 0.5p to 48.48p.

The mining sector saw the biggest gains, helping the index upwards. Fresnillo topped the Footsie, adding 25.5p to 735p, while Antofagasta dug up 25.5p to 830.5p and Glencore Xstrata piled up 7.65p to 315.7p.

Both BSkyB and Vodafone were also up after rumours that Vodafone may make a bid for the broadcaster in order to defend against a possible takeover by AT&T.

Marc Kimsey, senior trader at Accendo Markets, said: “Traders are buying into the Vodafone-BSkyB story and with good reason. The move will keep AT&T at arm’s length, but it needs to happen quickly. The US telecoms giant has been doing its homework for some time. A Q1 advance cannot be ruled out.”

BSkyB added 11.5p to 844.5p while Vodafone was up 1.55p to 237.95p.

On the midcap index, International Personal Finance saw shares collapse after revealing a £2.4m fine from the Polish authorities over the way it calculated APR. International Personal Finance fell 84.8p to 455.2p.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
ebooks
ebooksAn introduction to the ground rules of British democracy
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: Customer Service Advisor

£15000 - £16000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Customer Service Advisors are r...

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant

£20000 - £25000 per annum + OTE £45K: SThree: SThree were established in 1986....

Recruitment Genius: Compliance Manager

£40000 - £60000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Compliance Manager is require...

SThree: Talent Acquisition Consultant

£22500 - £27000 per annum + OTE £45K: SThree: Since our inception in 1986, STh...

Day In a Page

John Palmer: 'Goldfinger' of British crime was murdered, say police

Murder of the Brink’s-MAT mastermind

'Goldfinger' of British crime's life ended in a blaze of bullets, say police
Forget little green men - aliens will look like humans, says Cambridge University evolution expert

Forget little green men

Leading evolutionary biologist says aliens will look like humans
The Real Stories of Migrant Britain: An Algerian scientist adjusts to life working in a kebab shop

The Real Stories of Migrant Britain

An Algerian scientist struggles to adjust to her new life working in a Scottish kebab shop
Bodyworlds museum: Dr Gunther von Hagens has battled legal threats, Parkinson's disease, and the threat of bankruptcy

Dying dream of Doctor Death

Dr Gunther von Hagens has battled legal threats, Parkinson's disease, and the threat of bankruptcy
UK heatwave: Temperature reaches 39.8 degrees on Central Line - the sweatiest place in London

39.8 degrees recorded on Tube

There's hot (London) and too damn hot (the Underground). Simon Usborne braved the Central line to discover what its passengers suffer
Kitchens go hi-tech: From robot chefs to recipe-shopping apps, computerised cooking is coming

Computerised cooking is coming

From apps that automatically make shopping lists from your recipe books to smart ovens and robot chefs, Kevin Maney rounds up innovations to make your mouth water
Jessie Cave interview: The Harry Potter star has published a feminist collection of cartoons

Jessie Cave's feminist cartoons

The Harry Potter star tells Alice Jones how a one-night stand changed her life
Football Beyond Borders: Even the most distruptive pupils score at homework club

Education: Football Beyond Borders

Add football to an after-school homework club, and even the naughtiest boys can score
10 best barbecue books

Fire up the barbie: 10 best barbecue books

We've got Bibles to get you grilling and smoking like a true south American pro
Wimbledon 2015: Nick Bollettieri - Junk balls and chop and slice are only way 5ft 1in Kurumi Nara can live with Petra Kvitova’s power

Nick Bollettieri's Wimbledon Files

Junk balls and chop and slice are only way 5ft 1in Kurumi Nara can live with Petra Kvitova’s power
Ron Dennis exclusive: ‘This is one of the best McLaren teams ever – we are going to do it’

‘This is one of the best McLaren teams ever – we are going to do it’

Ron Dennis shrugs off a poor start to the season in an exclusive interview, and says the glory days will come back
Seifeddine Rezgui: What motivated a shy student to kill 38 holidaymakers in Tunisia?

Making of a killer

What motivated a shy student to kill 38 holidaymakers in Tunisia?
UK Heatwave: Temperatures on the tube are going to exceed the legal limit for transporting cattle

Just when you thought your commute couldn't get any worse...

Heatwave will see temperatures on the Tube exceed legal limit for transporting cattle
Exclusive - The Real Stories of Migrant Britain: Swapping Bucharest for London

The Real Stories of Migrant Britain

Meet the man who swapped Romania for the UK in a bid to provide for his family, only to discover that the home he left behind wasn't quite what it seemed
Cheaper energy on the way, but it's not all sunshine and rainbows

Cheaper energy on the way, but it's not all sunshine and rainbows

Solar power will help bring down electricity prices over the next five years, according to a new report. But it’s cheap imports of ‘dirty power’ that will lower them the most