FTSE 100 watch: Footsie closes lower in shortened session

Blue-chip index touches record high in Christmas rally

FTSE 100 watch: Footsie closes lower in shortened session

The FTSE 100 index closed marginally lower in today’s shortened pre-Christmas session, having hit a record high in early trading, with investors mulling over the ongoing Brexit negotiations, the tax reform bill in the US and election news out of Spain.

FTSE 100 inches lower

Britain’s blue-chip index shed 11.32 points to close 0.15 percent lower at 7,592.66 points in today’s session. The index traded above the 7,600-point mark earlier in the session, having crossed that level for the first time ever in the previous session.

“There is no specific catalyst for the latest move higher which has seen a rise of almost one per cent on the day, with favourable seasonality effects probably playing an important role,” David Cheetham, chief market analyst at XTB, commented, as quoted by City A.M. “December has been the second best month for UK stock market bulls in the past decade and the FTSE has enjoyed a strong run higher heading into the Christmas break.”

The Footsie, however, retreated alongside other European indices after Catalonia’s pro-independence parties won a regional vote.

Risers & fallers

Reuters noted that with only half a day of trading ahead of a holiday until the market reopens on Wednesday, moves among individual names were muted, while volumes were thin.

Blue-chip retailer Next (LON:NXT) was the session’s biggest riser in percentage terms, gaining 3.71 percent to close at 4,579.00p. easyJet (LON:EZJ) which had an Airbus A320-200 delivered by Avation, was another notable riser, adding 1.26 percent to 1,445.00p. At the other end of the spectrum was Ashtead (LON:AHT), whose shares gave up 1.67 percent to close at 1,944.00p.

The FTSE 100 index closed 0.15 percent lower at 7,592.66 points on Friday, 22 December 2017. 

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