* FTSE closes higher for 6th straight session
* FTSE 100 ends up 0.1 pct at 6,576.16 points
* U.S. debt fix underwhelms equity investors
* Many traders forecasting strong year-end for FTSE 100
* FTSE to end 2013 in 6,900-7,000 range -JN Financial trader
(Releads, updates with closing prices)
By Sudip Kar-Gupta
LONDON, Oct 17 Britain's top share index ended
higher on Thursday, helped by a surge in media group BSkyB
, although investors were underwhelmed by a temporary fix
to the United States' debt issues.
The blue-chip FTSE 100 index closed up by 0.1
percent, or 4.57 points, at 6,576.16 points to mark its sixth
straight session of gains.
BSkyB was the top blue chip winner, jumping 7 percent to its
highest level since early 2001 after posting an increase in
The market, however, had spent much of the day in negative
territory on disappointment over the U.S. debt deal.
U.S. lawmakers' last-minute agreement secured funding only
until Jan. 15, which raised the likelihood of another round of
Still, many traders continued to forecast a strong end to
the year, arguing that signs of economic recovery and reasonable
company results would continue to support equities.
Psigma Investment Management chief investment officer Tom
Becket expressed disappointment with the U.S. debt deal but
nevertheless bet on more gains for the equity market.
"Despite the fears that we hold over U.S. politics we still
believe that equity markets are likely to rally into the year
end. Global economic momentum is accelerating and we expect
corporate results to be broadly supportive, although they won't
be spectacular," he said.
The FTSE is up nearly 12 percent since the start of 2013.
The index has failed to regain a 13-year high of 6,875.62
points reached in late May, but JN Financial trader Rick Jones
expected the FTSE to finish 2013 in the 6,900-7,000 point range.
Toby Campbell-Gray, head of trading at Tavira Securities,
also felt fund managers still had little choice other than to
buy equities given the higher returns on offer compared with
bonds, whose yields have been driven down by central bank
injections of liquidity.
"Fund managers cannot afford to miss the rally," he said.
(Additional reporting by David Brett; Editing by Ruth Pitchford
and Susan Fenton)