FTSE 100 gains on session, drops 1.1 percent over week
In a short session ahead of the long Christmas weekend, the FTSE 100 added 0.1 percent to 6,190.0. The FTSE 250 was also higher, gaining 0.2 percent to 11,083.5. Volumes were extremely light, with fewer than 1 billion shares changing hands. The 250 was even on the week, while the 100 dropped 1.1 percent from its opening level on Monday.
The retail sector was mixed. Marks & Spencer added 1 percent to 721p, a record high, as Credit Suisse reaffirmed its “outperform” rating. On the other hand, DSG International, owner of Currys and Dixons, dropped 188¾p after Credit Suisse labeled it an underperformer. HMV, the book and music retailer, dropped 3.1 percent to 142¼p on a downgrade from Goldman Sachs after it issued a profit warning earlier in the week.
Premier Foods dropped 5.3 percent to 300p after it said that its yearly profits would only make the low end of predictions. It said the drop was due to the fact that many people had been putting off shopping for Christmas because of mild weather.
Gainers included Centrica, which gained 3 percent to 356p on a target price upgrade from Citigroup, which said that the energy company would benefit from a drop in wholesale gas prices. Also seeing gains was Intercontinental Hotels Group. The Holiday Inn chain operator gained 4.8 percent to £12.17 on bids rumours.