FTSE 100 and FTSE 250 Quarterly Review – March 2017

After market close on 1 March 2017 FTSE Russell confirmed the following changes to the FTSE 100 and FTSE 250 indices. The changes will be implemented at the close Friday, 17 March 2017 and take effect from the start of trading on Monday, 20 March 2017.

FTSE 100

Joining: Scottish Mortgage IT [SMT], Rentokil Initial [RTO]

Leaving: Capita [CPI], Dixons Carphone [DC.]

FTSE 250

Joining: Northgate [NTG], Sanne Group [SNN], Syncona [SYNC]

Leaving: Brown N [BWNG], CMC Markets [CMCX], International Personal Finance [IPF]

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A very average start to 2017

The following chart plots the daily returns of the FTSE 100 Index for the nine days around Christmas and New Year.

The blue bars plot the average daily returns of these days for the period 2000-2016. The orange bars plot the daily returns for the last nine days.

FTSE 100 Index daily returns around Christmas and New Year [2017]

As can be seen the actual daily returns for the last nine days have been on the whole pretty close to the average daily returns seen for the last 16 years..

  • Strong returns have been seen on the trading days following Christmas and New Year.
  • After the first day after New year, returns have trailed off (days 8 and 9 in the chart).
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Average market behaviour in January

The following chart plots the average performance of the FTSE 100 Index during January since 1984.

Average month chart for January [1985-2016]

As can be seen, historically the market tends to rise for the first two or three days in January and then sells off quite strongly over the following two weeks. The second week of January is the weakest week for the market in the whole year. Then, around the middle of the third week, the market has tended to rebound sharply.

Other articles about the market in January.


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FTSE 100 and FTSE 250 Quarterly Review – December 2016

After market close on 30 November 2016 FTSE Russell confirmed the following changes to the FTSE 100 and FTSE 250 indices. The changes will be implemented at the close Friday, 16 December 2016 and take effect from the start of trading on Monday, 19 December 2016.

FTSE 100

Joining: ConvaTec Group [CTEC],  Smurfit Kappa [SKG]

Leaving: Polymetal International [POLY], Travis Perkins [TPK]

FTSE 250

Joining: Ferrexpo [FXPO], NewRiver REIT [NRR], Nostrum Oil & Gas [NOG], Polymetal International [POLY], Travis Perkins [TPK]

Leaving: Countrywide [CWD], DFS Furniture [DFS], Laird [LRD], NCC Group [NCC], Smurfit Kappa [SKG]

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Tuesday reverses Monday

Do market returns on Tuesdays reverse those on Monday?

We first looked at this in 2013 (in this article), so time to see if anything has changed.

First, the following updates the chart to 2016 plotting Tuesday returns for the FTSE 100 Index split by whether the previous day’s returns were positive or negative. Two time periods are considered: 1984-2016 and 2000-2016.

For example, for the longer period, the average return on Tuesday when Monday was up is 0.02%, while the average Tuesday return when Monday was down is 0.09%.

FTSE 100 returns on Tuesdays when Monday was up-down

While the figures have marginally changed from the previous study in 2013, the overall finding is the same: namely that the theory that Tuesday reverses Monday does not seem to hold. Since 1984 it has done so when Monday returns have been negative, but not when they have been positive. 

As in the 2013 study, the theory has been valid for the market since 2000.

The previous study suggested that further analysis might include a filter on the size of the Monday returns. This is done in the following chart, where Tuesday returns are only considered if Monday’s returns were beyond a certain threshold (i.e. of a certain size). The (arbitrary) threshold chosen was 1 standard deviation for Monday’s returns.

FTSE 100 returns on Tuesdays when Monday was up-down (1SD filter)

It can be seen that limiting the analysis of Tuesday returns to just large movements on Monday (i.e. beyond 1 standard deviation) does help the reversal theory. In this case, if the market rises on Monday, then on average it falls the following day (albeit a pretty small average fall), and if the market falls on Monday, the market rises (fairly strongly) on the Tuesday.

Let’s now look at how the theory has been holding up in recent years.

Recent years

The following chart is similar in design to the previous charts, but this time it plots the reversal results for the discrete years 2013 – 2016.

FTSE 100 returns on Tuesdays when Monday was up-down [2013-2016]

First, when the market is up on Monday, all four of the past four years has failed to support the reversal theory as Tuesday has followed with positive returns as well. When Mondays are down, in three of the past four years Tuesdays have seen positive average returns (the exception being 2015).

Exploiting the reversal effect

OK, so how to exploit this?

The following chart plots the cumulative value of a portfolio that invests in the FTSE 100 just on Tuesdays when the previous day saw negative returns. For the rest of the time it is in cash.

In the 2013 study a variant portfolio was also considered, that as well as going long Tuesdays following negative Mondays also went short Tuesdays following positive return Mondays. There’s currently not much point in considering this as the reversal effect is not working for positive Mondays.

So, instead the variant second strategy studied here is as above (i.e. long Tuesday following a negative Monday) but with a 1 standard deviation filter applied to the Monday return (i.e. the strategy only goes long on Tuesday if the Monday negative return is a greater than 1 standard deviation return).

Strategies exploiting the Tuesday reversal effect [2000-2016]

Since 2000 it can be seen that the simple long Tuesday strategy out-performs the benchmark buy-and-hold FTSE 100 portfolio. The variant 1SD strategy only marginally out-performs the simple long Tuesday strategy, but does so with with a greatly reduced volatility.


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Day of the week grid

We have previously looked at data to see if there are any discernible patterns in market returns by day of the week. The following table presents another way of studying this.

The table shows the daily returns of the FTSE 100 Index for every day so far in 2016 (up to last Friday, 28 Oct). Positive returns are highlighted in green, negative returns in red. (White cells indicate a market holiday.)

Day of the week grid [2016 wk43]


  1. So far in 2016 the longest run of positive (or negative) returns for a day started in the 10th week of the year when day returns for eight consecutive Wednesdays were positive.
  2. For 11 weeks, the day returns on Fridays were the opposite sign to that on the previous day (Thursday). This run ended last Friday (when both Thursday and Friday saw positive returns).

Other articles looking at returns on days of the week.

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Last trading day of October

Next Monday will be the last trading day (LTD) of October.

Historically, the last trading day of October has been the strongest LTD of any month in the year. Since 1984 the market has on average risen 0.46% on the LTD of October, with positive returns in 69% of all years.

The following chart shows the FTSE 100 Index returns for every October LTD since 1984.

FTSE 100 last trading day of October [1984-2015]

As can be seen on the chart the market only fell twice on the October LTD in the 19 years from 1984 to 2002. One possible reason for this may have been that November is the start of the strong six month period of the year (this is part of the Sell in May effect), and investors could have been buying equities at this time in anticipation of that.

However, in recent years this pattern of behaviour has changed. Quite dramatically so – in the last seven years the market has only risen once on the October LTD. Last year (2015) the FTSE 100 Index was down 0.5% on the last trading day of October.

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High, Low, Close

Analysis of the daily close  of the FTSE 100 Index and the day’s high and low. 

The following table shows the frequency with which the FTSE 100 closes within a certain percentage of the high (or low) of the day. For example, since 1985 the FTSE 100 Index has closed within 10% of its daily high 20.8% of all days, and it has closed within 1% of its low 5.6% of all days.

  10% 5% 1%
Top (%) 20.8 15.1 9.8
Bottom (%) 14.5 9.6 5.6

It’s interesting to note that for one in 10 days the index closes within 1% of its high for the day.

The following day

Continuing this analysis of where the index closes relative to the Hi-Lo range of the day, the following table shows the performance of the FTSE 100 Index on the following day.

For example, on the days when the index closes within 10% of its low for the day on average the index return is -0.005% the following day; and when the index closes within 1% of its high for the day on average the index return is 0.167% the following day.

  10% 5% 1%
Top (%) 0.111 0.132 0.167
Bottom (%) -0.005 0.001 0.013


The above is an extract from the Harriman Stock Market Almanac 2017.

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FTSE 250/100 Ratio

The following chart shows the ratio of the FTSE 250 Index divided by the FTSE 100 Index since 1985. For example, yesterday’s close for the FTSE 250 Index was 18,342.1 and for the FTSE 100 Index it was 7074.3; dividing the former by the latter gives a ratio value of 2.59 (the last value plotted on the chart).

FTSE 250-100 Ratio [1985-2016]

As can be seen, the ratio fluctuated in a sideways range from 1985 to 1999. And then the great out-performance of the FTSE 250 over the FTSE 100 began (on 18 Jan 1999 to be precise).

Over the following 16 years to today, while the FTSE 100 Index increased 16%, the FTSE 250 gained 274%.

The following chart zooms in to show the FTSE 250/100 ratio for the more recent period since 21012-2016.

FTSE 250-100 Ratio [2012-2016]

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