Little festive cheer for investors as FTSE 100 finishes flat

Emma Haslett
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A tuba player attempts to bring some Chr
A merry Christmas to all... (Source: Getty)

It seems Santa didn't have much in his sack for equities investors this year, after the FTSE finished the day's session flat at 6,254.64 points, just 0.22 per cent higher.

It was a disappointing outcome, after the bluechip index showed signs of a late Santa rally yesterday, closing 2.6 per cent higher as mining stocks rebounded.

But trading during this morning's shortened session was more muted, with Anglo American leading the miners, rising 1.45 per cent to 327.18p.

Paper and packaging manufacturer Mondi led the risers, up 1.8 per cent to 1,359p, while Marks and Spencer rose 1.43 per cent to 449.5p, after broker AlphaValue reiterated its buy rating on the retailer. Although reports for two-hour queues at M&S' tills may also have got investors into the Christmas spirit...

On the less encouraging side, housebuilder Berkeley Group was the biggest faller, dropping 1.77 per cent to 3,633p. Investors are unlikely to be discouraged: the company's share price has risen 46 per cent this year alone.

With similarly uneventful trading expected between Christmas day and the New Year, the FTSE 100 is on course to end the year five per cent lower.

Jasper Lawler, market analyst at CMC Markets, called the session a "much-welcomed snooze fest".

"After a volatile few weeks for stock markets driven mostly by central bank intervention and plummeting commodity prices, Christmas Eve has produced its traditional snooze-fest.

"An early finish for UK, French and Spanish markets and German and Italian markets already closed has meant little in the way of market movement.

"The week between Christmas and New Year’s will likely continue in the same vein as investors weigh up the consequence for markets in 2016 of the first rate hike in the US for nine years and an 11-year low in Brent crude oil."

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