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FTSE's festive rally continues today

Tuesday, December 24 10:31:05

Britain's top shares rose for a fifth session today in what is likely to be a quiet day of trade with many investors out already for the Christmas holiday break.

The FTSE 100 was up 29.11 points, or 0.4 percent, at 6,707.72 points by 0905 GMT, on track for its fifth straight day of gains and its longest winning streak since October, having risen almost 4.5 percent from last week's low.

London's stock market will close at 1230 GMT on Tuesday, and remain shut for the following two days for the Christmas holiday.

The FTSE 100 is now in positive territory for the month, up 0.9 percent, as strong U.S. GDP data has cemented optimism the world's largest economy can stand on its own as monetary stimulus is withdrawn, or tapered.

The index has enjoyed a festive rally in all but two of the last 20 Decembers, Thomson Reuters Datastream shows.

It has notched a 13.7 percent rise in 2013 in a year which has seen the index scale 13-year highs, now 2.5 percent above current levels. Traders saw scope for it to continue its ascent into year end.

"I see it drifting a little bit higher... (on) the tapering story that we saw in the U.S. The reaction to that was very positive," Mark Priest, sales trader at ETX Capital, said.

Jordan Hiscott, senior trader at Gekko Global Markets, also reckons the index will eke out further gains this year, though could struggle to overcome 6,743.