FTSE 100 wraps up worst year since 2008 financial crisis

© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Signage is seen outside the entrance of the London Stock Exchange in London

By Shivani Kumaresan

(Reuters) – The blue-chip closed Thursday’s shortened trading session lower and clocked its worst year since the 2008 financial crisis as the United Kingdom widened restrictions to stem a new variant of the coronavirus raging across the country.

The FTSE 100 lost 1.5%, with consumer stocks, mainly Unilever (LON:), Diageo (LON:) and British American Tobacco (LON:) , weighing on the index.

“Although markets may have some short-term nerves, UK equity markets should appreciate strongly in 2021, along with equities globally, propelled by an ocean of zero percent central bank money and a post-COVID-19 economic recovery,” said Jeffrey Halley, a senior market analyst at OANDA.

The FTSE 100 has shed 14.3% in value this year, its worst performance since a 31% plunge in 2008 and underperforming its European peers by a wide margin, as pandemic-driven lockdowns battered the economy and led to mass layoffs.

Coronavirus infection numbers have risen sharply in Britain over the last two weeks, driven in part by a new variant that is up to 70% more transmissible than the original.

The mid-cap , considered a barometer of Brexit sentiment, was down 1.1%, ending the year 6.4% lower. UK markets will be closed on Friday for New Year’s Day.

The United Kingdom exits the European Union’s orbit on Thursday, at the strike of midnight in Brussels, or 2300 GMT for an uncertain Brexit future that will shape the fortunes of its people for generations.[nL4N2JA2G2]

While a trade deal was sealed last week between the two sides, it didn’t cover services, said Russ Mould, investment director at AJ Bell.

READ  £1k to invest? I’d capitalise on cheap FTSE 100 shares after the coronavirus market crash

“So there’s still quite a lot of work to be done,” said Mould.

In company news, real estate agent Countrywide jumped 12.9% after accepting realty management firm Connells Ltd’s sweetened buyout offer that gives it an enterprise value of about 223.1 million pounds ($304.06 million).

Disclaimer: Fusion Media would like to remind you that the data contained in this website is not necessarily real-time nor accurate. All CFDs (stocks, indexes, futures) and Forex prices are not provided by exchanges but rather by market makers, and so prices may not be accurate and may differ from the actual market price, meaning prices are indicative and not appropriate for trading purposes. Therefore Fusion Media doesn`t bear any responsibility for any trading losses you might incur as a result of using this data.

Fusion Media or anyone involved with Fusion Media will not accept any liability for loss or damage as a result of reliance on the information including data, quotes, charts and buy/sell signals contained within this website. Please be fully informed regarding the risks and costs associated with trading the financial markets, it is one of the riskiest investment forms possible.



Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here