FTSE makes small moves as festive mood takes over

The FTSE is making small moves this morning but as expected for a pre-holiday session, the index is really lacking any conviction

The FTSE is making small moves this morning but as expected for a pre-holiday session, the index is really lacking any conviction. BT and NMC Health are the outstanding fallers with Lloyds Bank and Ocado balancing out the decline.

BT shares are on course to end the year down almost 20% despite the company fighting tooth and nail to convince investors that it is capable of modernising amid recent plans to cut over £1 billion in costs. Having been one of the prime nationalisation targets on Labour’s agenda, the company rallied during the election period as it became clear that Labour was unlikely to win. For the moment, BT’s main appeal remains the 6% forecast dividend yield which is likely to slow down any further decline.

The beleaguered NMC Health has also slipped this morning but the move was fairly modest compared with the rollercoaster share moves over the course of last ten days. The company’s plan to bring in an independent agency to analyse the allegations made by short-selling specialist Muddy Waters is helping to stem any further selloff.  

Gold rallies led by Asian trading

Gold rallied 0.4% in light of pre-year end book squaring. Prices for the precious metal have risen over 13% this month boosted by the uncertainty in the first  half of December caused by unresolved US-China trade issues and the UK election. Though prices briefly dipped once the US and China agreed on the first phase of the deal, investors still feel that there are too many risk factors remaining in the global economy, not least the strength of the US stock market, which is constantly being questioned and keeps gold’s safe haven appeal still valid.

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