John Dance

Zytronic join in year end rally for shares

The UK’s leading shares had a positive day on the last full trading session of the year, with the FTSE 100 gaining 59.3 points with a 1.1% rise to 5566.7. Trading volumes were thin again, not unusual for the time of year and outside of the blue-chip stocks it was a very quiet day.

Markets lacked direction during the morning, spending most of it yo-yoing between small gains and losses. Italy held its auction of three year and ten year debt, many commentators described the result as positive as both were issued below 7% per year and indeed it was much better than a similar auction in November. However, the auction failed to see the dramatic fall in yields seen in the previous day’s shorter dated debt auction, the cost remains punitive and they failed to raise as much as hoped.

The news didn’t rattle markets, nor did the subsequent increase in Italian yields in the secondary market and a higher than expected opening on US exchanges provided the impetus for an afternoon rally, the FTSE recovering from a mid afternoon blip to close at its highest level of the day.

One of the best performing shares on the day were those of touch screen specialist Zytronic, gaining 3.5% and closing 8.5p higher at 253.5p, their highest level in almost five years.

Gold continued its recent decline, losing another 2.5% to trade around the $1533 level, its lowest since the early summer. Oil continued to shrug off any fears of supply disruption through Iranian waters and traded 1% lower at $107 a barrel.

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