LONDON -- Optimism is once again rising, with hopes that the FTSE 100 (FTSEINDICES: ^FTSE ) will finally beat its 52-week high of 5,989 points and perhaps even breach the 6,000 level that it hasn't seen since April 2011. Today it rose 0.4% to 5,936 on positive sentiment regarding the U.S. "fiscal cliff" negotiations.
A number of individual U.K. companies are achieving record share prices, too. Here are three trading close to their 52-week peaks.
ASOS (LSE: ASC )
Online fashion giant ASOS hit a new 12-month record of 2,619 pence yesterday and fell back a little to 2,580 pence today. The share price has been on the up since early November, with the company's Dec. 11 trading update -- which told us that sales in the quarter rose by 30% -- adding an extra boost.
The shares have now more than doubled this year, exceeding the levels set around the middle of 2011.
Dixons (LSE: DXNS )
Dixons Retail is still powering up, having hit yet another 52-week high of 28.4 pence today. The share price has almost tripled over the past 12 months, bringing a nice bit of pre-Christmas cheer to shareholders who, a year ago, may have rightfully given up hope.
Dixons has done a pretty good job of the turnaround. What we want next is sufficient progress to bring back decent dividend payments.
Reckitt Benckiser (LSE: RB ) (NASDAQOTH: RBGLY )
A 28 billion pound FTSE 100 behemoth like consumer brand maestro Reckitt Benckiser is perhaps not the kind of company whose shares we'd normally expect to see galloping up by 28% over a year. But that's precisely what happened between the price's 52-week low of almost exactly a year ago and its peak of 3,987 pence on Dec. 10.
It has fallen back a little in the subsequent days, but today it crept up 0.46% to 3,938 pence.
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