LONDON -- The FTSE 100 (FTSEINDICES: ^FTSE ) briefly touched yet another 52-week high of 6,134 points, today, buoyed by further positive news from Asia. Forecasts for Chinese GDP growth of 8% are even being bandied about in some circles. However as of 9 a.m. EST, the index of top U.K. stocks is flat, down a nominal four points to 6,118.
A number of constituents of the various FTSE indexes have had a great start to the New Year, too. Here are three that are pushing new heights.
Tesco (LSE: TSCO ) (NASDAQOTH: TSCDY )
What -- Tesco has reached a new high after that fall at the start of 2012? Indeed it has, but that's because last year's post-Christmas fall has dropped off the back end of the 52-week timeline. In fact, Tesco's new 52-week high of 360 pence was actually reached on Thursday, and today's highest price was a few pennies down from that at 354 pence.
But even if the price is still down from last year's pre-slump price, it's still good news for shareholders, as the price has now regained about 20% from June's low point of 294 pence. Was Warren Buffett right to top up his holding at a bargain price? I reckon so.
Greene King (LSE: GNK )
The booze business isn't doing at all badly these days, if Greene King is anything to go by: The shares are up 1.7% to a 52-week high of 660 pence so far today and up more than 25% in the past 12 months.
Today's boost came from an interim management statement that told of record Christmas sales. For the 36 weeks to Jan. 6, like-for-like sales were up 3.7%, with food sales up 4.1%. Continued marketing initiatives have led the brewer's two premium brands, Greene King IPA and Old Speckled Hen, to climb ahead of last year. I do like a drop of Old Speckled Hen...
Britvic (LSE: BVIC )
Britvic faced difficulties last year when problems with new bottle caps on a couple of its best-selling drinks led to product recalls. But since then, Britvic and AG Barr have announced their planned merger, the Britvic price has recovered strongly, and the price hit a 52-week high of 415 pence on Friday. Today the shares are changing hands for 411 pence, just a little down on that.
The latest on the merger, announced today, is that the Office of Fair Trading has not yet completed its review and has extended the timetable for its decision. The previous target date for completion of Jan. 30 will now not be met, so we will have to wait for a new timetable.
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