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FTSE 100 FTSE:UKX FTSE Indices Index
  Price Change % Change Price High Price Low Price Open Price Traded Last Trade
  +40.00 +0.58% 6,895.02 6,910.45 6,849.63 6,855.02 0 16:35:31

LONDON MARKETS: FTSE 100 Slinks Into End Of Worst Year For Stocks Since 2008

31/12/2018 1:59pm

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By Emily Horton

A flat finish for Monday's holiday-shortened session

The FTSE 100 logged its worst year of trading since 2008, having lost over 12% since the beginning 2018 as global volatility for equities and Brexit worries took a toll on the U.K. index.

Markets closed early on Monday, and will remain shut for the New Year's Day bank holiday. (DHER.FF)

How are the markets performing?

The FTSE 100 closed flat at 6,728.13 on Monday. For the year, the index dropped 12.48%, the biggest percentage decline since year-end 2008. A quarterly loss of 10.4% marked the largest fall since the third quarter of 2011.

The British pound climbed to $1.2789 from $1.2699 in New York late on Friday, boosted by dollar weakness. The pound has dropped over 5% against the dollar this year, tossed around by Brexit-related headlines.

What is driving markets?

U.K. lawmakers plan to force a Brexit delay if Prime Minister Theresa May's deal fails to get approved by Parliament in January, the Observer reported Sunday (https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2018/dec/29/cross-party-stop-the-clock-hard-brexit-no-deal-29-march). The newspaper reported that senior members of both the Conservative and Labour parties plan to force the March 29 deadline back until July, at the latest, to avoid a no-deal Brexit that could be an economic catastrophe, say some analysts. May's deal is expected to be rejected.

In the U.S., stocks were poised for an upbeat final session for 2018 (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/us-stock-futures-climb-over-trade-deal-hopes-in-last-session-of-2018-2018-12-31), as trade headlines pointed to progress between the U.S. and China. The dollar pulled back as equities and oil prices rose on more appetite for perceived riskier assets.

At the same time, fresh data from China showed factory activity hit a two-year low in December (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/chinas-manufacturing-activity-hits-2-year-low-2018-12-30).

Which stocks are active?

Banks were the top gainers, along with oil stocks, with Lloyds Banking Group PLC (BCS) (BCS) up 1.8% and Royal Dutch Shell PLC (RDSA.LN) (RDSA.LN) rising 0.8%.

International Consolidated Airlines Group SA (IAG.LN) was up by 2.7%, while British online supermarket Ocado Group PLC (OCDO.LN) gained just 3%.

On the downside, heavyweight British American Tobacco PLC (BATS.LN) dropped 2.3%.

 

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

December 31, 2018 08:44 ET (13:44 GMT)

Copyright (c) 2018 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.

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