Market Report: Hopes for a late Santa Rally dashed as FTSE can only crawl higher

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Well, that didn’t last long.

Hopes of a late Santa Rally, triggered by a 2.6% rise from the Footsie on Wednesday, quickly died out as the FTSE 100 crawled just 13.72 points higher to 6254.70 today.

Asian markets didn’t follow the West’s lead as Japan’s Nikkei 225 slipped 97.01, or 0.5%, to 18,789.69 and China’s SSE Composite, which has had a rollercoaster year, dipped 23.60 to 3612.49.

Trading volumes were unsurprisingly thin on Christmas Eve, with the London Stock Exchange shut at 12.30pm.

“It’s Christmas time, and there’s no need to be afraid, as there is very little going on with the European markets this Thursday,” Spreadex’s Connor Campbell joked.

The little buying activity that did happen involved stocks that had taken a pounding, including Old Mutual, up 3p at 182.1p, and Mondi, 23p better off at 1358p.

The two South African companies were hit by President Zuma’s shock finance minister changes earlier this month. 

Panmure Gordon analyst George O’Connor urged FTSE 250 engineering software group Aveva, down 3p to 1624p, to dish out a special dividend after its £1.3 billion takeover by Schneider Electric fell through.

“A tidy 100p/share special would not overly dent the balance sheet,” the tech guru argued.

Paragon Diamonds, whose shares are suspended, revealed discussions with funding partners will not be wrapped up by New Year, which has put off potential nominated advisers, a month after Northland Capital resigned from the post.

The shares will thus be delisted from AIM, which automatically cancels shares in companies that go without a “nomad” for a month.

There was some respite for big data specialist WANdisco, down 82% this year, which rose 7p to 85p after winning two contracts.

Diurnal, an IP Group portfolio company, had a healthy start to life on AIM, up 7p at 151p.

Coinsilium, a company investing in blockchain, the technology that powers bitcoin, edged up 1p to 11p after getting its ISDX flotation away.

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December 24, 2015 |
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