ARM helps UK shares extend rally into 4th day

Mon Dec 23, 2013 4:09am EST

* FTSE up 0.4 pct at 6,633.09 pts

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

* ARM rallies as Apple secures China mobile deal

By Francesco Canepa

LONDON, Dec 23 (Reuters) - Britain's shares rallied 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 broadly supported investors appetite.

Shares in ARM rallied 2.6 percent as Apple secured an agreement with China Mobile to sell iPhones through the world's biggest network of mobile phone users.

Sentiment on 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.

ARM was the top riser on the FTSE 100, which was up 26.51 points, or 0.4 percent, at 6,633.09 points at 0853 GMT, its fourth straight session of gains, the longest streak since October.

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as strong U.S. GDP data cemented optimism the world's largest economy can stand on its own as monetary stimulus is withdrawn.

The index, still down 3.5 percent from a 14-year high hit in May, was now heading towards 6,700, an area which proved a technical resistance for the FTSE earlier this year.

"We might see (the FTSE rise) another 70-80 points and then we are going to see some resistance," Mark Ward, head of execution trading at Sanlam Securities. said.

"I still think that we are going to stay at this kind of levels for the remainder of the year."

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

Volume of the FTSE was just 5 percent of its full-day average for the past 90 days after the first 50 minutes of trading, a normally busy time of the day.

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