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.
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 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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Alan does not own any shares mentioned in this article. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days.