There was no fizz or sparkle on the last trading session before Christmas, with London stocks flat as a pancake as traders reached for the mince pies and bubbly.
The FTSE 100 ended steady at 7,372.10, having hit pandemic highs earlier in the day.
Chris Beauchamp, chief market analyst at IG, said: “European markets are making progress today, taking their lead from the better finish for US markets last night. After a wobble earlier in the month thanks to Omicron worries, indices on Wall Street made headway this week, recovering most of the losses, and this positive atmosphere has carried over to the shortened session in London.
“The FTSE 100 has not had as stellar a year as some, but the recovery of 7,400 today puts it in good stead for the year ahead, and means a run at the pre-pandemic highs could still be possible if Omicron concerns can be kept under control and earnings continue to recover in the fashion they have throughout 2021.”
Unsurprisingly, there wasn’t a whole lot happening on the corporate front.
Consumer goods giant Reckitt Benckiser was little changed up after agreeing to sell its E45 brand and related sub-brands to Sweden’s Karo Pharma for £200m.
Elsewhere, outsourcer Capita gained after saying it had sold its AMT Sybex software business to Jonas Computing for up to £40m.
Online supermarket Ocado – which has benefitted from lockdowns and restrictions – was the top riser on the FTSE 100, closely followed by discount retailer B&M.
BA and Iberia owner IAG and InterContinental Hotels also advanced.
FTSE 100 (UKX) 7,372.10 -0.02%
FTSE 250 (MCX) 23,270.43 0.02%
techMARK (TASX) 4,549.88 0.03%
FTSE 100 – Risers
Ocado Group (OCDO) 1,674.50p 2.42%
Sage Group (SGE) 851.00p 2.41%
B&M European Value Retail S.A. (DI) (BME) 627.60p 2.35%
International Consolidated Airlines Group SA (CDI) (IAG) 146.64p 1.86%
InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) 4,795.00p 1.74%
Pershing Square Holdings Ltd NPV (PSH) 3,045.00p 1.67%
Intermediate Capital Group (ICP) 2,202.00p 1.38%
Fresnillo (FRES) 899.20p 1.33%
BT Group (BT.A) 170.90p 1.30%
WPP (WPP) 1,127.00p 1.26%
FTSE 100 – Fallers
Antofagasta (ANTO) 1,320.00p -1.57%
Associated British Foods (ABF) 1,990.00p -1.44%
BHP Group (BHP) 2,179.00p -1.25%
Flutter Entertainment (CDI) (FLTR) 11,445.00p -0.82%
Spirax-Sarco Engineering (SPX) 15,655.00p -0.76%
Halma (HLMA) 3,142.00p -0.76%
Experian (EXPN) 3,572.00p -0.75%
Compass Group (CPG) 1,638.50p -0.64%
Avast (AVST) 609.20p -0.59%
Coca-Cola HBC AG (CDI) (CCH) 2,538.00p -0.55%
FTSE 250 – Risers
TUI AG Reg Shs (DI) (TUI) 247.50p 4.25%
Baltic Classifieds Group (BCG) 239.00p 3.91%
Harbour Energy (HBR) 365.40p 3.57%
Rank Group (RNK) 158.00p 3.13%
Helios Towers (HTWS) 166.60p 3.09%
Hochschild Mining (HOC) 133.00p 2.94%
VinaCapital Vietnam Opportunity Fund Ltd. (VOF) 522.00p 2.35%
Carnival (CCL) 1,462.40p 2.35%
PureTech Health (PRTC) 291.50p 2.28%
National Express Group (NEX) 256.60p 2.15%
FTSE 250 – Fallers
XP Power Ltd. (DI) (XPP) 5,130.00p -2.29%
Petropavlovsk (POG) 20.10p -1.95%
Brewin Dolphin Holdings (BRW) 360.00p -1.91%
Vesuvius (VSVS) 438.00p -1.88%
Investec (INVP) 396.20p -1.83%
Discoverie Group (DSCV) 979.00p -1.81%
Oxford Instruments (OXIG) 2,610.00p -1.69%
Howden Joinery Group (HWDN) 896.20p -1.69%
Hammerson (HMSO) 32.92p -1.61%
IWG (IWG) 284.60p -1.49%