The biggest Footsie
risers were Autonomy, up 69p at 1703p, Lloyds Banking Group, ahead 1.98p at 69.2p, Resolution, up 13.9p at 294.5p and African Barrick Gold, up 18.5p, at 550.5p.
The top three fallers in the Footsie
were all mining stocks, with Fresnillo down 4.2% to 1492p, Anglo American off 3.2% at 3300p and Antofagasta behind 2.4% at 1502p.
has now gained more than 10 per cent in the latest rally - the longest winning streak for more than five-and-a-half years.
But a steady start for US markets on rare good news from the housing market improved sentiment and the Footsie
eventually closed 30.8 points lower at 3852.6.
Although prices on the new November contract eased back to around 107 dollars, carrier British Airways was the biggest Footsie
faller, down more than 5% or 11.25p to 207.25p.
But the Footsie
, already trading in a 300-point range today, could be set for further jolts when US markets open later.
But the Footsie
- already trading in a 300-point range today - was set for further jolts when US markets opened later.
Just 23 days into the new year the Footsie
closed in the red for a ninth consecutive day, the longest losing streak since its inception in 1986, and the run reached 11 when a 123-point "bloodbath" saw another pounds 30bn wiped from the value of the country's leading companies.
Today's lift was significant as the Footsie
has spent the last few days trying without success to close above the 5,300 barrier.
Predictably, the biggest single day percentage fall during the year was on September 11 itself, when the Footsie
shed 5.7per cent to close at 4,746.
A 3% decline for Shell sent it to the bottom of the Footsie
, dropping 73.5p to 2177.5p, after tough downstream trading left earnings in the final three months of 2010 short of the pounds 2.9bn expected in the City.
But retailers featured prominently on the Footsie
fallers board following a gloomy profit warning from Carpetright in the FTSE 250.