- FTSE closes down 20 points as Santa rally ends
- House prices register 4.4 per cent rise
- Retailers sink of competition and discount concerns
techMARK 2,781.91 -0.18%
FTSE 100 6,731.27 -0.29%
FTSE 250 15,900.74 +0.14%
The FTSE 100 ended its final full session of the year down 20 points, as supermarkets and other retails offset gains seen in the industrial mining sector.
It has been a day of light trading and little news ahead of tomorrow's half day and Wednesday's Bank Holiday, with many traders still on leave following the Christmas festivities.
House prices register annual rise
House prices climbed 4.4% in 2013, data from Hometrack has showed. This compares positively to the 0.3% decline registered in 2012. Demand over the past 12 months rocketed 25%, compared to the number of homes for sale rising just six.
Director of Research, Richard Donnell, revealed that demand grew at the fastest rate for three years, while the supply of homes for sale grew at the lowest level recorded over the 12 year history of the survey.
Stephen Smith, Director of Legal & General Network, said: "The Hometrack house price rises recorded today, including a 9% year on year rise in London, will continue to fuel speculation that prices may be rising too quickly. However, it's worth remembering what the market looked like before government stimulus was introduced. It is also worth remembering that Help to Buy is a temporary measure. Mark Carney has already said he will review Help to Buy very carefully to make sure the market isn't overheating."
CBI Chief says more needs to be done to help employees get ahead in the workplace
John Cridland, the head of the Confederation of British Industry (CBI), has told UK firms they need to give employees more support to move up the career ladder as the economic recovery builds.
In the lobby group's New Year address, Cridland called on business to offer "more opportunities" to employees as too many people are stuck on minimum wage.
With businesses set to expand for the first time since the start of the recession, "this is no time to rest on our laurels", Cridland believes.
Retailers drag FTSE down, mining stocks pull higher
Supermarkets have dragged the FTSE down today, with Sainsbury and Morrison weighing particularly heavily, on the back of competition fears.
According to Alex Conroy at Spreadex, the declines are due to "growing fear that German competitor's such as Aldi and Lidl and their discount prices are cutting into the main UK supermarkets market share".
Other retailers were also in the red, particularly Sports Direct and Marks and Spencer, as investors fear the discounted prices will not have been sufficiently offset by the volume of sales after reports of mixed trading over the festive period.
Meanwhile, miners were putting in a strong performance at the other end of the index, with Anglo American and Melrose Industries leading the way, buoyed by the reports from China that a potential credit crisis is not as likely as matter chatter would have.
According to David Madden, a Market Analyst at IG, "easy access to cash is sure to keep the Asian tiger roaring".
International Personal Finance shares
recover after Friday's sharp decline
Shares in home credit firm Internaional Personal Finance (IPF) regained some of its recently lost ground today after it plummeted on Friday morning following the news of a fine in Poland.
This was helped significantly by Numis Securities, which said the drop in shares presented a good buying opportunity. "Given the dramatic share price decline we believe this risk is more than reflected in the share price and our recommendation moves to 'buy'," the broker said.
FTSE 100 - Risers
Anglo American (AAL) 1,338.50p +2.21%
Mondi (MNDI) 1,042.00p +1.56%
Petrofac Ltd. (PFC) 1,220.00p +1.50%
Fresnillo (FRES) 746.00p +1.50%
Melrose Industries (MRO) 303.80p +1.37%
G4S (GFS) 263.00p +1.19%
Rio Tinto (RIO) 3,409.00p +0.89%
Travis Perkins (TPK) 1,848.00p +0.87%
Tullow Oil (TLW) 856.50p +0.71%
William Hill (WMH) 398.20p +0.66%
FTSE 100 - Fallers
Sainsbury (J) (SBRY) 371.10p -1.93%
Marks & Spencer Group (MKS) 442.70p -1.67%
Sports Direct International (SPD) 717.00p -1.58%
Morrison (Wm) Supermarkets (MRW) 263.70p -1.49%
Ashtead Group (AHT) 762.00p -1.42%
BAE Systems (BA.) 434.00p -1.36%
GKN (GKN) 369.80p -1.25%
easyJet (EZJ) 1,517.00p -1.24%
Sage Group (SGE) 401.60p -1.13%
CRH (CRH) 1,526.00p -1.10%
FTSE 250 - Risers
International Personal Finance (IPF) 501.00p +10.06%
Imagination Technologies Group (IMG) 182.10p +8.39%
RPS Group (RPS) 349.60p +6.23%
Kenmare Resources (KMR) 20.68p +6.21%
PayPoint (PAY) 1,063.00p +4.73%
Electra Private Equity (ELTA) 2,432.00p +4.60%
Telecity Group (TCY) 732.50p +4.49%
Vedanta Resources (VED) 937.50p +3.99%
Rank Group (RNK) 136.00p +3.11%
Foxtons Group (FOXT) 328.50p +3.01%
FTSE 250 - Fallers
Halfords Group (HFD) 443.60p -3.57%
Partnership Assurance Group (PA.) 292.20p -2.60%
Barr (A.G.) (BAG) 566.00p -2.33%
SVG Capital (SVI) 430.00p -1.98%
Micro Focus International (MCRO) 777.50p -1.77%
Phoenix Group Holdings (DI) (PHNX) 725.50p -1.76%
Ocado Group (OCDO) 440.40p -1.70%
UDG Healthcare Public Limited Company (UDG) 324.90p -1.63%
Diploma (DPLM) 699.00p -1.62%
Petra Diamonds Ltd.(DI) (PDL) 118.00p -1.58%
FTSE TechMARK - Risers
Torotrak (TRK) 21.12p +4.97%
RM (RM.) 115.00p +4.55%
Promethean World (PRW) 20.25p +2.53%
Microgen (MCGN) 127.50p +1.59%
Sepura (SEPU) 137.00p +1.48%
Phoenix IT Group (PNX) 131.50p +1.35%
Ricardo (RCDO) 678.50p +1.34%
Optos (OPTS) 201.50p +1.26%
XP Power Ltd. (DI) (XPP) 1,605.00p +0.94%
Electronic Data Processing (EDP) 70.50p +0.71%
FTSE TechMARK - Fallers
Kofax Limited (DI) (KFX) 416.75p -2.23%
E2V Technologies (E2V) 152.50p -2.09%
Oxford Biomedica (OXB) 2.33p -1.69%
Wolfson Microelectronics (WLF) 145.00p -1.36%
Skyepharma (SKP) 116.50p -1.27%
Gresham Computing (GHT) 124.00p -1.20%
Vislink (VLK) 44.75p -1.10%
Consort Medical (CSRT) 954.50p -0.52%
SDL (SDL) 358.75p -0.35%