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Shortened Christmas Eve session to see few fireworks

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The Christmas Eve half-day trading session, which will end early at 12.30pm, is not expected to provide much action as traders start to shift more towards festive enjoyment.

The usually busy shopping season has been kneecapped by new coronavirus lockdown measures, although some large retailers such as Marks & Spencer Group PLC (LON:MKS) have said previously they will stay open until midnight before closing on Boxing Day to give their employees a break.

Lockdown also means the traditional Boxing Day sales splurge is unlikely to take place – except online.

With little in the diary, geopolitical developments are likely to dominate the minds of many, particularly any updates on Brexit negotiations as well as the potential fallout of Donald Trump’s recent threat to veto the US stimulus bill.

Significant announcements for Thursday, December 24:

Christmas Eve, market half-day

FTSE 100 ex-dividends to knock 0.1 points off the index: Halma PLC (LON:HLMA)

AstraZeneca/Oxford vaccine might be approved within days

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