It looks like that promised Santa rally has finally emerged, after the FTSE 100 nudged another record high in morning trading.
The index rose to 7,611.75 points, up from yesterday's high of 7,609.69.
Before that, the last time it set a record was June, when it rose to 7,598.99 points.
The index was carried higher by Next, which rose three per cent to 4,546p in early trading, as analysts suggested retailers were taking advantage of Christmas panic.
Research by retail sales aggregator Lovethesales.com showed a nine per cent spike in the volume of products being discounted this week, with a six per cent year-on-year rise in the number of products on sale.
As the market nosed a record high yesterday, David Cheetham, chief market analyst at XTB, said the rise was likely to be thanks to festive cheer, rather than having a specific cause.
"There is no specific catalyst for the latest move higher which has seen a rise of almost one per cent on the day, with favourable seasonality effects probably playing an important role.
"December has been the second best month for UK stock market bulls in the past decade and the FTSE has enjoyed a strong run higher heading into the Christmas break.
"The much discussed Santa Rally could still be to come and from a technical point of view a clean break higher after a fairly long period of consolidation paves the way for significant upside ahead."
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