Strong ARM helps FTSE notch up 4-session winning streak

Mon Dec 23, 2013 11:01am EST

* FTSE 100 up 0.7 percent

* Index up for 4th day, longest run since Oct

* ARM rallies as Apple secures China mobile deal

By Tricia Wright

LONDON, Dec 23 (Reuters) - Britain's shares rose for a fourth straight day on Monday as chip designer ARM was boosted by the prospect of more orders from key client Apple and optimism about U.S. growth underpinned the broader market.

ARM topped the FTSE 100 leader board, up 3 percent at 1,101.18 pence, after Apple secured an agreement with China Mobile to sell iPhones through the world's biggest network of mobile phone users.

"Flows in ARM are largely biased towards the buy side, with accounts already long, increasing long positioning," Jordan Hiscott, senior trader at Gekko Global Markets, said.

A move above the record high of 1,111 pence set in May 2013 could pave the way for yet more gains, he said, with 1,250 pence his short-term target for the stock.

Sentiment surrounding ARM, whose chip designs power more than 95 percent of smartphones and most tablets, was also supported by a Christmas sales update from British department store group John Lewis, which said it sold one Apple iPad every 10 seconds at its stores during the past week.

The FTSE 100 was up 47.95 points, or 0.7 percent, at 6,654.53 points by 1536 GMT, on track for its fourth straight session of gains and its longest winning run since October.

The UK benchmark rose 2.6 percent last week, snapping a six-week losing streak and notching its best weekly gain since July as strong U.S. GDP data cemented optimism the world's largest economy can stand on its own as monetary stimulus is withdrawn.

These gains have laid the foundations for a festive rally on the FTSE 100, a trend which has seen the index rise in all but two of the last 20 Decembers, according to Thomson Reuters Datastream. It is now up 0.1 percent this month.

"The cyclical economic recovery is taking place and we see the market being able to withstand the easing of tapering," said Atif Latif, director of trading at Guardian Stockbrokers, who reckons the index will reach 6,780 by year end - almost 2 percent above current levels - and push higher into January.

The FTSE will trade for a half day on Tuesday and remain shut for the following two days for Christmas.

Volumes were very light going into the holiday, with the FTSE 100 having traded around a third of its 90-day daily average heading into the end of the session.

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