* FTSE 100 up 0.2 percent, up for 5th day
* Index posts 3rd best Christmas rally since launch
* Seen at 6,743 by year-end - Gekko Global Markets
* London market reopens on Dec. 27
By Francesco Canepa
LONDON, Dec 24 Britain's top share index rose
for a fifth session on Tuesday, posting its third-sharpest
Christmas rally since its launch in 1984, helped by a surge in
Shares in BSkyB rose 2.5 percent, taking their gains so far
this week to 4.9 percent, as a Daily Mail report revived
speculation about a bid from Vodafone, aimed at bundling
the groups' broadband, TV and landline offers.
The stock had traded 68 percent of its full-day volume
average for the past three months when the market closed at 1230
GMT, compared to 15 percent for the FTSE 100.
London's stock market will remain shut for the next two days
for the Christmas holiday.
The FTSE closed up 15.56 points, or 0.2 percent, at 6,694.17
points in its fifth straight day of gains, boosted by strong
data from the United States and a gradual approach to stimulus
reduction by the Federal Reserve.
The index has gained 3.2 percent in the past five days, its
third-best run into Christmas since the index's launch three
decades ago, Datastream data showed.
After half of the FTSE's 10 best Christmas rallies the index
fell in the first two weeks of January, the data showed, making
some investors cautious on the market's outlook.
"I'd be happy to let it go up until new year. At the moment
even if you wanted to (sell it) you can't do it (due to the low
volumes)," said Andy Ash, head of sales at Monument Securities.
"Then if you're going to sell it on the seasonality there's
plenty of volume on the first and second (trading days) of
Ash, however, said he would first take profit on the U.S.
S&P 500, arguing that the FTSE 100 could still be boosted
by money flows into Europe and a rebound in emerging markets.
The FTSE, which generates a quarter of its revenues from
emerging markets, has risen about 13 percent this year, less
than half the rise in the S&P as the U.S. economy improved and
the dollar strengthened, causing volatility in emerging market
Jordan Hiscott, senior trader at Gekko Global Markets,
reckons the FTSE will eke out further gains this year, though
could struggle to overcome 6,743.
Resistance could come into play at this level, he said, and
the 14-day relative strength index (RSI), a momentum indicator,
is moving back up towards overbought territory.