Scoreboard: Winning streak

Amid thin, holiday-affected trade, the Dow Jones finished higher for a seventh day, while oil prices fell on the back of US Energy Department data.

In US economic data released on Christmas Eve, initial claims for state unemployment benefits dropped 9,000 to a seasonally adjusted level of 280,000, their fourth straight week of declines, and below the forecast of 290,000.

European shares were flat on Christmas Eve with many markets either closed or having half-day trading sessions. The FTSEurofirst 300 index was flat with the UK FTSE up 0.2 per cent while the French CAC40 lost 0.4 per cent.  

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