FTSE trades around 6000 as oil firms lag

<p>Weakness in heavyweight energy stocks BP, due to an equipment malfunction at its Cherry Point refinery, and BG Group has weighed marginally on the FTSE […]</p>

Weakness in heavyweight energy stocks BP, due to an equipment malfunction at its Cherry Point refinery, and BG Group has weighed marginally on the FTSE 100 Index on Thursday, which traded flat to hover near the psychologically important 6000 level.

Not much activity is expected over the course of the session of course, with many traders eyeing their New Years Eve parties tomorrow rather than any stock picking.

Most of the early activity we have seen thus far has been one of small share sales in energy firms and speculative buys in the miners, which continue to bull their way higher after Copper hit a new record high yet again today.

Shareholders of the key miners have firmly shrugged off both the Chinese rate hike and data out this morning which showed that Chinese Purchasing Managers Index fell to a three month low in December, indicating that business expansion in the worlds fastest growing economy could be slowing.

It will be interesting to see how much of the December rally was hot air when traders return to their desks on mass in January and look at equity prices that have rallied over 8% in December alone. There is every chance that there could be a small correction into the new year as prices normalise with the return of normal market volumes but if the FTSE can retain above the 5900, there is every chance the rally may continue into the new year.

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