Markets on a high

Santa rally helps push FTSE 100 to record close

London Stock ExchangeA Santa rally helped power the FTSE 100 to a record close, fuelled by gains for mining companies. Small-caps were at their highest in nearly three years.

The index rose 0.5%, or 37.9 points, to close at 7,106.08 – just above the previous record close of 7,103.98 set on 27 April 2015.

Its all-time intra-day high was 7,129.83 on 11 October this year.

Among blue chip risers were Randgold and Fresnillo both ending almost 5% higher, while BHP Billiton gained 4% to £13.08 and Anglo American 3.6%.

However, there were some heavy fallers, with British Airways owner IAG dropping 2.9% to 444.1p, while easyJet fell 1.7% to £10.17.

Housebuilders also slipped on the back of BBA figures showing a fall in purchases. Bovis Homes shed 5.3% to 811p after a profits warning.

It blamed “slower-than-expected build production” in December for a slowdown in sales, with completions on around 180 homes set to be delayed into early 2017. Barratt Developments fell 4.3p to 465p.

Shares in Sports Direct were 3.1% higher at 280.9p after it announced the £112m sale of its Dunlop brand to Japan’s Sumitomo Rubber Industries.

The FTSE AIM 100 Index broke above 4,000 and ended up 1.3%, or 52 points, at 4,050 – its highest since early March 2014.

The FTSE AIM All-Share Index closed up 1% at 839 – its highest since April 2014.


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