London stocks hit fresh closing highs in the last trading session of 2016, with the blue-chip index achieving a last-moment all-time peak for the third consecutive day.
Both the blue-chip and mid-cap ladders began the abbreviated session in negative territory. Trade ended at 12.30pm, ahead of New Year celebrations over the weekend. Trade resumes in 2017.
At the close, FTSE 100 was up 22.57 points, or 0.32%, to 7142.83, while FTSE 250 was up 47.77, or 0.26%, to 18,077.30. Top-100 risers outnumbered fallers roughly 70 to 30.
At about 12.24pm, WTI crude was down 0.07% to $53.73/bbl and Brent was down 0.37% to $56.64/bbl. Gold was up 0.22% to $1160.6/oz, with silver and copper also making gains.
Around the time of the close, the charge was led by Coca-Cola HBC (CCH), fizzing 2.19% ahead to 1770p.
Several commercial property stocks made gains. Hammerson (HMSO), up 1.78% to 573p, has contracted to sell 50% of Watermark in Southampton to GIC, Singapore’s sovereign wealth fund and Hammerson’s Westquay joint venture partner, for a total consideration of £48.5m.
High-street retailers were broadly firmer, as were several leisure stocks, insurers and pharmas.
To the downside, Rolls-Royce was down 1.33% to 669p, while BT Group (BT.A) slipped 1.09% to 366.9p. Also down was DCC (DCC), off 0.9% to 6040p.
Utilities were in southbound focus after United (UU.), lower 0.72% to 901p, and SSE (SSE), falling 0.64% to 1553p. Other sector players also retreated.
Resources were on the back foot, too, albeit off the pace. BP (BP.) and Shell (RDSA) both tapered, as did mining majors Anglo American (AAL) and Antofagasta (ANTO).
Kodal Minerals (KOD), up 32% to 0.17p, confirms further high grade rock chip results from the reconnaissance rock chip sampling at its lithium interests in southern Mali.
Parallel Media (PAA) fell 22.64% to 10.25p has continued to reduce its outstanding current liabilities, whilst reviewing acquisition prospects which will enable the PMG in 2017 to confirm opportunities in the live event and entertainment sector.
Pantheon Resources (PANR), up 21.43% to 80.43p, reports the presence of two new potentially significant zones in the VOBM#4 well in Tyler County, East Texas, both of which are productive regionally and have the potential to be significant also for the company.
Inspirit Energy (INSP) fell 13.16% to 0.17p as it posted an after-tax loss of £458,000 for the year to end-June, down from £572,000 last time.
Provexis (PXS), down 8.11% to 0.85p, has narrowed its H1 pretax loss to £139,617, from a loss of £228,447. Revenue improved to £123,456, from £40,908.
Caribbean Investment Holdings (CIHL), down 5.0% to 9.5p, has posted a net loss from operations of $3.8m for the six months ended 30 September, from net income of $2.5m.
Harvest Minerals (HMI), down 3.95% o 18.25p, has completed the second air core drilling programme at the Maximus prospect, part of its Arapua fertiliser project in the Brazilian state of Minas Gerais.
ValiRx (VAL), down 2.33% to 5.25p, said YA Global Master SPV Ltd (Yorkville) has elected to convert a further portion of tranche 1 of the Convertible Loan Facility (CLN).
Georgia Healthcare Group (GHG), up 2% to 357p, has launched a new ambulatory cluster in Tbilisi. The cluster is located in the Didi Digomi neighbourhood and covers a population of about 140,000.
Metal Tiger (MTR), down 1.69% to 1.45p, has agreed to issue 7.5m new shares in lieu of cash for marketing, communications and other professional services provided to the company.
San Leon Energy (SLE), down 0.46% to 54.25p, has issued an update on operations and cash flow receipts related to its initial indirect 9.72% interest in the OML 18 project, onshore Nigeria.
Other stocks in the news included Harworth (HWG), TP ICAP (TCAP), Mkango (MKA), AssetCo (ASTO), John Laing Infrastructure Fund (JILF) and Milamber (MLVP). Story provided by StockMarketWire.com