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BUSINESS CLOSE: FTSE hits Covid high before Santa rally fizzles out

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BUSINESS CLOSE: FTSE hits pandemic high before Santa rally fizzles out; E45 brand sold for £200m; Babcock sells power business for £50m


The Santa rally that saw the FTSE 100 hit its highest level since the market crash in March 2020 has fizzled out, leaving the index more or less flat as markets close early before Christmas.

The FTSE 100 dropped back from the pandemic high it hit this morning to close down just 1.24 points, or 0.02 per cent, at 7,372.1.

The more UK-focused FTSE 250, despite being boosted by airlines EasyJet and Tui and coach operator National Express, ended the day up just 3.68 points, or 0.02 per cent, at 23,270.43.

London stocks are nonetheless higher for the week as sentiment took an uptick and remain near to their highest point since before the pandemic. 

Unsurprisingly, only a couple of company news today. The iconic E45 skincare brand is set to be sold to Swedish pharmaceutical firm Karo Pharma for £200million, its owner Reckitt Benckiser Group said. 

Meanwhile, Babcock International Group has completed the sale of its Power business to M Group Services for a gross cash consideration of £50million.  

Merry Christmas everyone! 

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E45 brands had a combined net revenue of £43million in the year to 31 December 2020

E45 brands had a combined net revenue of £43million in the year to 31 December 2020

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