FTSE 250 at all-time high as markets buoyed by upbeat mood

London Stock Exchange

The mid-market FTSE 250 index ended the last trading day before Christmas at an all-time high on the back of a more buoyant mood among investors.

In a truncated trading session the index hit 21981 points, a 0.6% rise on the day.

More positive signals from the White House suggest the next stage of trade talks with China are progressing. Finalisation of the phase-one trade deal is expected next month.

China and the United States eased back on the trade war hostility earlier this month, announcing a phase-one agreement that would reduce some US tariffs in exchange for more Chinese purchases of American farm products and other goods.

China will lower tariffs from 1 January on products ranging from frozen pork and avocado to some types of semiconductors as Beijing looks to boost imports.

There are also positive signs ahead for US and UK employment, while monetary policy does not appear to be tightening any time soon.

In London, the FTSE 100 closed the day up 8.65 points, or 0.1%, at 7632.24, a five-month high, and extending the main index’s winning streak to 10 trading sessions . France’s CAC-40, and the German Dax index were also higher.

With only a week left of 2019 trading, European shares are on course to log their best gains in a decade.

There was little corporate news with modest gains for Lloyds, up 1.22p, Experian, up 40p, and Ocado, up 19.5p.

The biggest fallers were BT, down 6.05p, and Rolls-Royce Holdings, down 6.4p.

Among the mid-caps, shipping company Clarkson was 3.5% higher, while Cairn Energy added 3.3%.

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