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No happy Christmas for the FTSE 100

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This Christmas won’t be a positive one for the FTSE, according to new research, despite its previous 21-year pattern of December gains.

ADVFN, a stocks and shares website, has found the FTSE 100 was up by 4.81% in December 2006 – the 21st occasion since 1984 that the index had seen positive gains during the festive season. However, so far in December 2007, the FTSE 100 has dropped 153.2 points. Since 1984, the only other years when there were declines in December was 1990 and 2002.

Since January this year, the FTSE 100 has climbed by 58.5 points (0.94%), while the FTSE 250 actually lost 8.8%. Last year the two indices saw an increase of 10.7% and 27% respectively.

ADVFN pointed out that the markets have been more volatile this year. The closing high for the FTSE 100 this year was 6732.4 on the 15 June and the closing low was 5858.9 on 16 August.

Clem Chambers, chief executive officer of ADVFN, said: “This has been a turning point year for the UK stock market. Investors have enjoyed a very pleasant bull market since 2003, but something went awry at the beginning of 2007.

“At best, the markets will remain fragile and volatile in 2008. The scale of the international credit markets is vast and the potential for shocks that could hit the world’s markets hard in 2008 is such that normal service is unlikely to resume. This means that whatever happens, the markets will be operating under a pall of uncertainty that will drag on any rallies. This difficult environment is likely to stretch well into 2009.”

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