FTSE 100 closes at lowest level of 2014

Yesterday (15 December) the FTSE 100 endured its sixth consecutive negative session, closing down 118 points at 6183, its lowest level so far this year.

The benchmark index has now fallen by almost 9 per cent in six trading days, from a closing price of 6,743 on 5 December.

Laith Khalaf, senior analyst at Hargreaves Lansdown, commented that the pace of the fall has been “breathtaking”, with oil-related stocks bearing the worst of the pain.

“We are now closing in on a technical correction after just six abysmal trading sessions. To give some perspective, we already witnessed a 10 per cent fall in the UK market in September and October of this year, but this took place over six weeks, not six days.

Mr Khalaf did note that a lower oil price should put more money into the pockets of UK consumers and many UK businesses, but this will take some time to feed through into expenditure and profits.

“In the meantime investors would as usual be well-advised to keep focussed on the long term- equity investing is a marathon, not a sprint.”

The news comes as several fund managers told FTAdviser sister title Investment Adviser that they expect the UK stockmarket to finally break through the 7,000-point barrier in 2015.

Since the dot-com bubble burst in 2000, the FTSE 100 has never gone above its all-time closing high on 31 December 1999 of 6,930.2 points.

Chris Rodgers, founder and senior UK equity manager at Four Capital, stated that the FTSE would “absolutely” break the 7,000-point barrier and perhaps go higher.

Neil Veitch, fund manager at SVM Asset Management, also predicted the index would end the year close to 7,000 points, partly based on his view on the trajectory of the oil price next year.