1630:Close Stocks rose led by gains in ARM Holdings and Carnival, albeit on greatly reduced trading volumes due to the upcoming Christmas holiday. That came as personal consumption data Stateside pointed to strengthening demand from households heading into quarter four and 2014. In the UK, over the weekend the Bank´s Deputy Governor, Andrew Bailey, told The Sunday Telegraph that: "We are very focused on the housing market [...] We don't think that at this stage the situation is out of control. We have laid out the tools that we can use. The thing I stress is that we will use those tools." FTSE 100 up 72 to 6,679.
1455: The University of Michigan´s consumer confidence gauge finished the month of December unchanged at 82.5 points, versus forecasts for a slight up-tick to 83.0. The expectations component, however, did edge higher, to reach 75.
1330: Personal income and spending in the US advanced at a 0.2 per cent and 0.5 per cent month-on-month pace, respectively, during the month of November. Consensus forecasts had been for increases of 0.5 per cent in both measures. The 'core' gauge for the deflator for personal consumption expenditures increased at a 1.1 per cent year-on-year clip, slightly less than the 1.2 per cent which had been projected. FTSE 100 up 47 to 6,654.
1327: A British Airways 747 jumbo jet impacted an office building at Johannesburg's main airport with its wing prior to take-off. There were no injuries reported amongst the passengers.
1245: Analysts at N+1 Singer on Friday are commenting on the preliminary weekly sales data out of John Lewis showing a strong 2.7 per cent rise in like-for-like sales for the week ending on Saturday 21st, as consumers rushed to buy following subdued activity over the last two weeks. Online sales were particularly strong, gaining by 31 per cent.
1234: Carnival stock is again rising sharply and is now approaching technical resistance towards 2,481p. Nevertheless, the shares
are still within a broad sideways movement. Royal Mail is down a tad on its first day of trading as a constituent of the top flight index.
1001: ARM Holdings is leading gains on the top flight index, riding on the coattails of Apple´s announcement of a tie-up with China Mobile. For the most part markets seem to be shrugging off another spike this morning in Chinese interest rate markets. The seven-day repurchase rate was at 8.8 per cent just a few hours ago, even as Beijing seeks to downplay the rise. FTSE 100 up 26 to 6,633.
0900: The International Monetary Fund (IMF) said it is raising its growth outlook for the world's biggest economy as a budget deal in Washington and the Federal Reserve's plan to reduce its bond buying eased doubts about the future.
IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde, told NBC's Meet the Press: "We see a lot more certainty for 2014. All of that gives us a much stronger outlook for 2014, which brings us to raising our forecast," she said, although she did not specify any figures." In October, the IMF said the US economy would expand 2.6 per cent next year, compared with 1.6 per cent in 2013. Lagarde did not specify any new figures.
0800: The FTSE 100 is expected to open modestly higher from Friday's close in thinner than usual pre-holiday trading. In company news Hochschild Mining said it has completed the acquisition of a 40 per cent stake in Pallancata mine and Inmaculada Advanced Project in Peru. Serco Group has secured a six-month extension to its contract with the Australian Government for immigration services. Meanwhile John Laing Infrastructure Fund (JLIF) has completed the acquisition of the remaining stakes in three assets from Bouygues UK, resulting in 100 per cent ownership of each asset. Otherwise, there are no economic data releases in the UK today but in the US figures will be released on personal consumption, personal income and the University of Michigan's consumer confidence survey.