THE good old American consumer delivered a shot in the arm to markets as higher spending contributed to a big upwards revision in US third quarter GDP growth.
With the world’s powerhouse economy now expanding at 5 per cent a year and even French consumer spending weighing in at double its growth expectations for November, the FTSE 100 shrugged off a disappointing GDP revision at home to add a further 21.44 points to its rally and close at 6,598.18.
Tony Cross, market analyst at Trustnet Direct, said: “Maybe the biggest clue as to sentiment among UK equity investors can be found in the fact that UK supermarkets were among the best performers on the FTSE 100 – it’s not even Boxing Day yet and already UK punters are trying scoop up perceived bargains.”
Morrisons featured on the blue chip risers’ board after adding 4.4p or 2.5 per cent at 180.4p, Sainsbury’s climbed 4.5p to 244.1p, and even beleaguered Tesco added 2 per cent at 184.6p.
The first day of trading for Indivior, the pharmaceuticals business spun out of consumer products business Reckitt Benckiser, saw its shares jump by 25 per cent or 30p to 150p. Reckitt was 110p lower at 5,200p after Exane BNP Paribas revisited its rating on the blue-chip stock in the wake of the demerger.
Housebuilders also peppered the fallers’ board after the British Bankers Association reported a “sharp chill” in the housing market after the number of mortgage approvals slid by a fifth in November.
Persimmon fell 21p to 1572p, while FTSE 100 newcomers Barratt Developments and Taylor Wimpey lost 6.9p and 1.8p at 459p and 134.7p respectively.
Outside the top flight, chocolate maker Thorntons slumped 22 per cent - off 26.2p to 92p - after it issued a Christmas profit warning.