U.K. stocks advanced for a fifth day amid shortened trading hours for Christmas Eve and before U.S. reports on durable-goods orders and new-house sales.
British Sky Broadcasting Group Plc climbed 2.5 percent for the biggest rally on the benchmark FTSE 100 Index. Tullow Oil Plc fell 1.2 percent after saying it will abandon a well. Segro Plc rose 0.9 percent after selling a site. ARM Holdings Plc lost 1.4 percent after yesterday gaining 3.9 percent.
The FTSE 100 added 15.56 points, or 0.2 percent, to 6,694.17 at the close in London, posting its longest winning streak since October. The equity benchmark has gained 14 percent this year as central banks around the world pledged to leave interest rates low for a prolonged period of time. The broader FTSE All-Share Index advanced 0.2 percent today, while Ireland’s ISEQ Index lost 0.2 percent.
“We have a green Christmas on stock markets today,” said Benno Galliker, a trader at Luzerner Kantonalbank AG in Lucerne, Switzerland. “The positive sentiment lingers on and pulls the markets that are open in Europe today higher. We should see a continuation of the up move into 2014.”
The volume of shares changing hands in FTSE 100 companies was 59 percent lower than the average in the last 30 days, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.
A report at 8:30 a.m. in Washington will show that orders for durable goods in the U.S. rose 2 percent in November, according to a Bloomberg poll of economists. Separate data at 10 a.m. will show that new-house sales fell to a 440,000 annualized pace last month from 444,000 in October, according to the median projection.
BSkyB climbed 2.5 percent to 833 pence. The Daily Mail reported there was speculation Vodafone Group Plc may bid for the company to bundle its mobile-phone services with the satellite broadcaster’s broadband, TV and landline offerings.
Tullow Oil declined 1.2 percent to 838 pence. The company said a well on the Mantra prospect off the coast of Norway found reservoirs that contained water instead of oil. Tullow said it will plug and abandon the well.
Segro added 0.9 percent to 337.7 pence. The U.K.’s largest publicly traded owner of industrial properties said it sold its Neckermann site for 46 million euros ($63 million).
ARM Holdings dropped 1.4 percent to 1,095 pence. The company increased 3.9 percent yesterday after Apple Inc. struck a deal to sell its smartphones through China Mobile Ltd. ARM designs chips for the iPhone.