FTSE tiptoes to its festive close

As the market finishes for Christmas, the FTSE is flat on the day, but is still holding on to its gains for the week.

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Volumes are thin across Europe today, with some markets already shut for the holidays. However, in London the session has seen the FTSE 100 add some small gains to its tally for the week, having seen a decent bounce over the last two days.

Even now, miners are in the news, having dominated the agenda so much of late.

Anglo American has managed to add some small change to its dwindling cash pile as it sells off a coal mine in Australia – disposals were a key theme for miners in recent months, and the fire sale will continue into the New Year.

It has not been a great year for the FTSE 100, which is currently down almost 5% since January, with the FTSE 250 coming out with an 8% gain so far.

With commodities still in a slump, the mid-cap index is likely to start 2016 in much better form than its bigger brother.

A shortened session on Wall Street awaits US traders, and while the Dow Jones and S&P 500 have clawed their way off the lows of the year, it has not been the greatest period for stocks.

However, we have realised that there is life beyond the Federal Reserve rate hike, and with the US economy still looking robust, optimists will be hoping that 2016 will mark a return to decent gains for equities.

Ahead of the open, we expect the Dow to start at 17,560, down 40 points from last night’s close. 

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