Since 1875 the UK market has seen negative annual returns only twice in the fifth year of the decade. As can be seen in the accompanying chart, since 1875 the down years were 1915 and 1945 (and 1945 was down only 0.6%).
As of the close 24th December the FTSE All-Share index was at 3449.5, (2.4% below its 2014 close of 3532.7).
The market has three days to climb above 3532.7 and end the year in positive territory.
The answer to the heading is: yes. The FTSE All-Share index ended 2015 at 3447.46: down 2.41% on the year.
The following table shows the annual (percentage) performance of the FTSE All Share Index since 1801. The table is arranged to compare the performance of the market for the same year in each decade. For example, in the third year of the 1801-1810 decade (1803), the market fell 21.9%, while in the third year of the 1811-1820 decade (1813), the market fell 0.2%. Years are highlighted in which the market fell.
- Since 1801 the strongest years have been the 2nd, 3rd, and 5th years in the decades. The market has risen 14 out of the 21 decades in these years, with an average annual return over 4%. But the single year champion has got to be the 5th year in each decade which has risen an average of 9.2%.
- The stand-out weakest year in the decade since 1801 has been the 10th – this is the only year to have risen less than 10 times in the 21 decades, and also the only year to have a negative average return (-1.2%).
- Generally, performance in the more recent decades has not changed too much from the long-term picture. In the six decades since 1951, the strong years are still the 3rd, and 5th years, although now also joined by the 7th and 9th years. The dominance of the 5th year is greater than ever – the only year to rise in every decade since 1951. And the 10th year continues to be weakest, with positive returns only twice in the past six decades.
Extract taken from the newly published The UK Stock Market Almanac 2016.
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