[an error occurred while processing this directive]
BBC News
watch One-Minute World News
Last Updated: Friday, 23 December 2005, 12:37 GMT
FTSE briefly hits four-year high
The headquarters of the London Stock Exchange
Friday was a quiet day on the stock exchange
The UK's main share index briefly passed the 5,600 barrier for the first time in four years on Friday.

Yet in a quiet half day of trading that ended for Christmas at 1230 GMT, the FTSE 100 eventually finished down 2 points to 5,595.

Analysts said the shares slipped back due to a lack of corporate news. Marks & Spencer was one of the main risers.

The London Stock Exchange will now reopen for trading after Christmas on Wednesday, December 28.

Shares in Marks and Spencer gained as investors are confident the retailer has had a strong Christmas trading period.

Drugs giant AstraZeneca was another riser after it said it was buying Cambridge-based cancer treatment research firm Kudos Pharmaceuticals for around 121m.





SEE ALSO:
Kazakh firm joins FTSE favourites
19 Dec 05 |  Business
Persimmon set for FTSE 100 index
06 Dec 05 |  Business
LSE rejects 'derisory' takeover
09 Dec 05 |  Business



PRODUCTS AND SERVICES

Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific