LONDON -- After closing above 6,300 for the first time yesterday, the FTSE 100 made it halfway to 6,400 today, reaching 6,354 points by mid-morning. But it has fallen back a little since then to 6,329, 10 points down on the day, though there seems little doubt that the index is not finished setting new 12-month records just yet.
The reason for the current bullishness? It's really just generally positive economic sentiment, coming mainly from Asia and the U.S. -- and the eurozone is currently devoid of panic!
So, with the index breaking records almost every day, which shares are doing the same? Here are three constituents of the various FTSE indexes flying to new highs.
Shares in Topps Tiles have been going strong, as the company is recovering well, with forecasts suggesting a 4% rise in earnings per share for the year to September 2013 and a 10% rise the following year. That puts the shares on a forward price-to-earnings ratio of only 10.5, falling to 9.5 for 2014.
And all of that has helped push the shares up 80% over the past 12 months to a 52-week high of 56 pence today. And on that modest valuation, there could well be more to come over the next couple of years.
Delcam shares have gained a further 9 pence today to take them to 1,241 pence this morning. That's only a rise of 0.7% on the day, but the price has more than doubled over the past 12 months and is now at a new 52-week high, narrowly beating yesterday's record.
The share price has been boosted by strong results and very positive analyst consensus. And yesterday's pre-close update suggesting that full-year results would be even better sent the shares flying higher, with no let-up today. Results for the year to Dec. 31 should be with us on March 26.
Drax shares plummeted last summer after the operator of the U.K.'s largest coal-fired power station cut its interim dividend by 10% after profits fell -- the company has a policy of distributing 50% of earnings as dividends.
But since then, the price has steadily climbed back to reach a 52-week closing high yesterday of 595 pence. It has actually been higher today at 596 pence, but it has dropped back a little to 585 pence. As of the company's last interim update in October, trading had improved, though full-year forecasts suggest a fall in earnings of 16%, so we should be seeing a final dividend lower than last year's.
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