The FTSE 100 is on track for its best year in more than a decade despite a slow trading end yesterday.
The blue chip index closed down 17.68 points at 7,403.01 after a strong rally in recent days.
The Footsie now reaches 14.6% in 2021, which puts it on track for its best year since 2009, when it jumped 22% as the market recovered from the global financial crisis.
Covid recovery: The blue chip index closed down 17.68 points at 7403 after a strong rally in recent days
However, a further drop in the last trading session of the year today could cause it to miss this milestone. Shares have risen as Omicron fears fade, giving rise to hopes that the economy may be spared from further lockdowns.
Marks & Spencer is also heading for a strong performance with the High Street mainstay on track for his best performance since 2009.
While stocks plunged 0.7%, or 1.6p, to 233.2p yesterday, the stock has rebounded around 71% since the end of last year after two updates to its forecast of profits raised hopes of a recovery.
Stock Watch – Secured Income REIT
Real estate investor Secure Income REIT peaked in three months after making a deal with Legoland owner Merlin Entertainments.
He will pay £ 33.5million to extend the leases of Alton Towers, Thorpe Park, Warwick Castle and Heide Park in Germany for 35 years.
The extension means that the leases will now last 55.5 years compared to 20.5 years previously.
It also increases the average duration of the leases of the company’s portfolio to 30 years against 19.2 years.
Secure increased 1%, or 4p, to 416p.
It was the reverse story for grocery delivery giant Ocado (up 0.8%, or 12.5p, to 1,674p), with which M&S created a joint venture in 2019, which saw its course. of the stock market fall by 27% this year.
Ocado, alongside other online shopping groups, cashed in 2020 as lockdowns left customers dependent on deliveries.
However, their stocks suffered in 2021 as restrictions eased and competition resurfaced with traditional rivals.
This is a setback for partner companies, with shares of M&S falling about 27% in the past five years while Ocado has climbed 544%.
Homebuilders were down after analysts at lender Nationwide warned that the booming UK property market was “likely” to slow next year as rising interest rates and the recent surge in property prices. housing weighed on demand.
Robert Gardner, Nationwide’s chief economist, also noted that the stamp duty holiday, which ended in October, “encouraged many people to pre-purchase their homes to avoid additional taxes,” thus reducing the pressure of demand.
The assessment came as the UK average house price hit a record £ 254,822 in December, up 10.4% year-on-year, making 2021 the strongest year for growth house prices since 2006.
However, the negative outlook for 2022 caused Barratt shares to fall 0.6%, or 4.2p, to 745p while Taylor Wimpey slipped 0.9%, or 1.55p, to 175.2p, Persimmon edged down 0.8%, or 22p, to 2857p. and Berkeley fell 1.5%, or 75p, to 4824p.
Meanwhile, mid-cap Bellway fell 0.8%, or 26p, to 3337p while Crest Nicholson fell 1%, or 3.6p, to 369p and Vistry Group lost 1%, or 12p, at 1188.5p.
Oil tanker FTSE 250 Harbor Energy has announced that it has completed drilling its Dunnottar exploration well in the North Sea to a depth of 15,639 feet.
He found “marginal” amounts of hydrocarbons, the compounds that make up oil and gas, that would be valued for any commercial potential. Shares were down 1%, or 3.6 pence, to 350 pence.
Beauty maker Creightons fell 0.9%, or 0.8p, to 87p. In the six months to the end of September, profit before tax fell to £ 2.3million from £ 2.9million a year ago as sales in its hygiene business fell by 11.5 million pounds sterling, dropping overall sales to 30 million pounds sterling from 32.37 million pounds. .
Elsewhere, Atom Energy, a company focused on the production of environmentally friendly hydrogen and ammonia, got off to a steady start by debuting in the junior AIM market.
The shares hit an intra-day high of 87.5p, 9.8% above their 80p price tag in a £ 6million fundraiser that Atom will use to fund projects. But the action ended the session flat, at 80p.
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