Market performs impressively


There were no prizes for guessing that the FTSE 100, along with all the other UK market indices, would finish sharply lower yesterday.

But there were few observers in the London market who would admit to picking a closing Footsie loss of 80 points after the Dow Jones Industrial Average had closed 500 points down on Monday evening.

Most, by their own admission, would have plumped for a three-figure fall, and most, too, would have put the loss in excess of 200 points.

In the event, the FTSE 100 closed a net 80.3 or 1.5 per cent lower at 5,169.1, a performance greeted by many as impressive in view of Wall Street's overnight 512-point fall, its second-biggest points drop ever and a decline of 5.6 per cent.

On the downside, there was much less optimism among the market's second-liners and smallcap stocks, which had to absorb another severe hammering.

The FTSE 250 index relinquished 158.0 or 3.3 per cent to 4,627.3 and the FTSE SmallCap index slid 78.7 or 3.7 per cent to 2,947.4.

Just as London plummeted at the outset because of Wall Street's overnight retreat, so it stabilised as the US market embarked on a strong recovery, albeit after a sequence of hefty swings in both directions soon after the start of trading in the US.

At the outset, the Dow pushed up more than 100 points before retreating the same amount and then pushing up again to record a gain of more than 200 points an hour after London finished trading for the day.

It was the continuing turmoil in Russia, both on the political and economic fronts, that was behind the wild swings in global stock.

Turnover on London's equity market was a disappointing 800.9 million shares.