This article titled “FTSE 100 hits record high as global markets celebrate $9tn year – business live” was written by Graeme Wearden, for theguardian.com on Friday 29th December 2017 17.50 Asia/Kolkata
Just 10 minutes until the end of the trading year in London, and the FTSE 100 is heading towards a fresh closing high…..
Stocks cheer $9tn year
World stock markets have surged to a new alltime high today, meaning they’ve put on a blistering $9 trillion in value since the start of January.
That’s according to Reuters, which reports:
Markets were ending 2017 in a party mood on Friday after a year in which a concerted pick-up in global growth boosted corporate profits and commodity prices, while benign inflation kept central banks from snatching away the monetary punch bowl.
MSCI’s world equity index, which tracks 47 countries, inched up 0.15% as six straight weeks and now 13 straight months of gains left it at yet another all time high.
The index has been on an upward trajectory for pretty much all of 2017, putting it 22 percent and almost $9 trillion higher for the year.
Emerging markets have led the charge with gains of 34%. Hong Kong surged 36%, South Korea notched up 22% and India and Poland both made 27% in local currency terms.
Japan’s Nikkei and the S&P 500 are both ahead by almost 20%, while the Dow has risen by a quarter. In Europe, the German DAX has gained nearly 14 %, though the UK FTSE has lagged a little with a rise of 7%.
The euro has enjoyed its best year since 2003, thanks to the recovery in the eurozone economy.
The single currency is the best performing G10 currency, according to Bloomberg data:
More photos of traders celebrating the last day of trading at the Philippine Stock Exchange in Manila have arrived; it seemed wrong not to share them.
Traders have plenty to celebrate — the main Philippine stock index hit an alltime high this morning, and has gained 25% this year.
That helped Asian shares to rack up their best year since 2009 (as discussed earlier).
The smaller FTSE 250 index is also at record levels.
It rose by 0.25% to 20,695 points, a gain of 55 points this morning.
FTSE 100 keeps rising
The FTSE 100 is pushing further into record territory, as City investors get their buy orders in before trading closes early at 12.30pm.
The blue-chip index has now hit a fresh record high of 7,648 points, up 25 points or 0.3% today.
Reuters points out that natural resourse stocks had a stonking year:
Miners have been among the FTSE’s best-performing stocks this year, with Antofagasta up 47.4% and Glencore up 40.7% year-to-date.
Elsewhere NMC Health has been the index’s best-performing stock, while a takeover has pushed Worldpay’s shares 57 percent higher this year.
Housebuilders Persimmon and Berkeley Group have both had a comeback year, recovering after seeing their shares plummet in the immediate aftermath of the UK’s Brexit referendum in June 2016.
Technology companies have led the rally in Europe this year, mirroring the surge in Amazon, Google, Apple, Facebook et al.
Miners, banks and industrial companies also had a good year, as this chart shows:
Like most financial assets, shares are generally held by richer people (either directly or through pension funds). So the surge in global stock markets this year won’t have helped tackle wealth inequality.
The FTSE 100’s 6% rise this year has outpaced inflation (3.1% in December) and wages (up 2.3% during 2017).
And the bad news for British workers is that pay growth is likely to lag behind all other wealthy nations in 2018.
2017 hasn’t just been about rising stock markets. Brexit, Donald Trump, food safety, inequality and even a giant, sadly deceased, rabbit called Simon featured in our most popular stories this year.
Here’s a round-up of the business news that got you all clicking this year.
How Asian markets shrugged off political fears
The strong rally in Asia’s stock markets this year is particularly remarkable, given the geopolitical threat posed by North Korea and the risk that president Trump could trigger a trade war.
But instead, traders have shrugged off these worries – sending shares jumping across the region.
As CNBC puts it:
While geopolitical uncertainty was a major focal point earlier this year — with several North Korean missile launches initially sending investor scurrying into safe-have assets — risk appetite has since improved, with markets looking instead to stronger economic growth globally.
MSCI’s broad index of shares in Asia Pacific excluding Japan was up more than 34 percent year-to-date on Friday morning.
That’s above the roughly 25 percent climb seen on the Dow Jones industrial average and 8 percent rise on the pan-European STOXX 600 over the same period.
The London stock market is “doing its festive best” to reach the New Year at a fresh record high, says Mike van Dulken of Accendo Markets.
Here are the top risers and fallers on the FTSE 100, as it hovers around this morning’s peak of 7,636 points.
Most global stock markets have enjoyed strong gains this year.
Craig James, chief economist at fund manager CommSec, said of the 73 bourses it tracks globally, all but nine have recorded gains in local currency terms this year (that’s via Reuters).
Japan’s Topix share index has also enjoyed a bumper year; it’s risen by over 19% during 2017.
Traders held a ceremony to mark the end of the trading year, and invited Go champion Yuta Iyama to ring the closing bell.
European stock markets are on track to record their best year since 2013.
The Stoxx 600 index has just opened flat, leaving it on track for a near-8% gain over the last 12 months.
The pound is also having a good morning. It’s up 0.5% against the US dollar at $1.35, a three-week high.
FTSE 100 hits fresh record high
Boom! Britain’s FTSE 100 index has hit a new record at the start of trading.
The blue-chip index has jumped by 13 points to 7,636, slightly over yesterday’s record high.
It means the Footsie has risen by 4.5% during December – a month that saw Britain agree the first phase of a Brexit deal with Brussels.
Just Eat, the fast food-ordering app company, is leading the risers, up 1.8%. It only joined the FTSE 100 this month, after seeing its value overtake the likes of supermarket chain J Sainsbury.
The agenda: Markets end 2017 on a high
Good morning, and welcome to our rolling coverage of the world economy, the financial markets, the eurozone and business.
It’s the final day of the trading year, and what a year it’s been for investors.
Stocks have surged world wide over the last 12 months – thanks to renewed confidence in the global economy and a steady drip-drip-drip of monetary stimulus from central bankers.
Over in Asia, the markets have enjoyed their best year since the aftermath of the financial crisis in 2009. The MSCI Asia Pacific Index, which tracks stocks across the region, has surged by almost 29% this year.
Hong Kong has enjoyed a particularly exuberant year – jumping by an sparkling 36%, while South Korea posted a 22% gain and India jumped by 27%.
Ceremonies have already been taking place at stock markets across Asia, including in Tokyo and Manila.
Many commodities have strengthened this year too, at the expense of the weaker US dollar. Donald Trump’s push for tax cuts has not made the greenback great again.
In Europe, many stock markets are already sitting on double-digit gains – Germany’s DAX, for example, is up 13%.
Britain’s FTSE 100 hit fresh record highs this week, but has actually only gained around 6.7% during the year. Today’s trading session will end at 12.30pm.
So, a solid year for shares. But could the markets be peaking? Some investors worry that the good times could end soon.
For example, an index from State Street that tracks investor risk appetite suffered its six straight monthly fall in December.
As Michael Metcalfe, State Street’s head of global macro strategy, put it:
“While the broader economic outlook appears increasingly rosy, as captured by measures of consumer and business confidence, the more cautious nature of investors hints at a concern that markets may have already discounted much of the good news.”
There’s not much in the agenda (understandably), apart from new inflation figures from Germany.
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