FTSE Close: Mixed trading closes out 2023 for London stocks

London stocks closed Thursday’s trading session on a mixed note, capping off a turbulent yet moderately positive year for UK equities. The blue-chip FTSE 100 index shed 2.21 points to finish at 7,722.74, still poised to eke out a 3.6% annual gain.

Oil giants Shell and BP weighed on the index, with shares falling 0.3% and 0.4% respectively amid an easing of geopolitical tensions in the Red Sea. Meanwhile, Scottish Mortgage Investment Trust rose 1.2% on growing optimism of a Fed pivot. The investment trust holds sizable positions in major US technology firms.

On the FTSE 250, movements were muted with the index down just 1.59 points at 19,719.16. Junior market AIM All-Share edged up 0.1%.

Junior miner Corcel was Thursday’s top performer, vaulting 23% after a drilling update showed “significant hydrocarbon potential” at its Angolan oil asset.

Shares in Zanaga Iron Ore Company (LSE: ZIOC) jumped over 20% after the firm revealed it has penned a landmark clean energy agreement with China Machinery Engineering Corp.

While 2023 brought no shortage of economic and political turmoil, UK stocks ultimately proved resilient, returning moderate gains. Heading into 2024, lingering uncertainties around inflation, rates, and growth suggest continued volatility.

Among individual stock movers, FTSE All Share risers included Petra Diamonds up 29%, RHI Magnesita up 11% and Pensionbee up 4%. On the flip side, Schroder Eur closed down 6.6%, Ultimate Prod down 6.3% and Diversified Energy closed down 4.3%.