FTSE notches win for 11th time in a row as markets open after Christmas

The FTSE 100 remained largely unmoved on a quiet day for international markets, as its counterparts in Europe kept their doors shut for the Christmas period.

London’s blue-chip index closed the day up 5.93 points, or a meagre 0.08% to 7,638. The Friday close wrapped up a quiet week, interrupted by Christmas.

There were only two full days of trading in London this week as the stock market is closed on Christmas Day and Boxing Day, and closes early on Christmas Eve.

In Europe, the Dax and the Cac, Germany and France’s top flights respectively, kept their doors shut on Friday.

In the US, the S&P 500 was up 5.35 points, or 0.17%, to 3,245. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.24% to 28,689.

It is the 11th time in a row that the FTSE has closed in positive territory.

“The FTSE has seen its best run in three years as risks which have weighed on the index across 2019 are dissipating, boosting risk appetite. Trade sensitive stocks have rallied amid further positive signals surrounding the US-China trade deal,” said Fiona Cincotta, an analyst at City Index.

In company news, the finance director of Domino’s Pizza has drowned while on holiday with his family in Mauritius.

The company said that David Bauernfeind, 51, died in a snorkelling accident on the Indian Ocean island on Boxing Day.

According to local press reports, a British tourist, believed to be Mr Bauernfeind, was found by a sailor off the coast of the island.

The competition watchdog has launched an in-depth investigation into Amazon’s bid to buy a stake in Deliveroo.

The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) said it has launched a thorough phase two probe, after Amazon failed to address “initial concerns that their investment in Deliveroo could be bad for customers, restaurants and grocers”.

On December 11, the regulator called on Amazon and Deliveroo to offer undertakings to address its concerns that any deal between the companies may weaken competition.

London-listed hospital operator NMC Health has hit back at investment firm Muddy Waters, after the short seller accused it of “possible fraud and theft”.

NMC produced a letter which it hopes will allay fears that it overpaid to build a hospital in Abu Dhabi.

London-listed Zenith Energy paid £1 million for an early stage oil development in the Republic of the Congo. The purchase of the majority of AAOG Congo, which owns 56% of the offshore Tilapia oilfield, puts the company in partnership with state oil company Societe Nationale des Petroles du Congo.

Sterling was up 0.8% against the dollar to 1.3095. It gained 0.1% versus the euro to 1.1721.

International oil standard Brent crude rose 0.43% to 68.18 dollars per barrel, while the gold price closed higher too.

The top risers on the FTSE 100 were Just Eat, up 19.6p to 829.60p, Next, up 156p to 7,270.00p, United Utilities, up 16.6p to 967.40p, Glencore, up 4p to 238.75p, and Polymetal International, up 19.5p to 1,189.5p.

The biggest fallers on the FTSE 100 were NMC Healthcare, down 46p to 1,736.00p, Bunzl, down 33p to 2,117.00p, Smith & Nephew, down 19p to 1,861.00p, Carnival, down 35p to 3,677.00p, and Compass Group, down 15p to 1,903.50p.