James Moore: Santa and those shares

Outlook: The big fella in red may be brought back to earth with a bump when the trading books are properly re-opened in the new year
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The Independent Online

Not many traders at their desks to notice a significant milestone on the markets yesterday. The FTSE 100 closed at its highest level since 12 September 2008. That was the day before Lehman Brothers collapsed. The financial armageddon that looked to be a very real prospect on that day appears to have been averted, thanks largely to the largesse of taxpayers on both sides of the Atlantic.

Yesterday, though, Santa was still flying high above the City of London. The big fella in red may be brought back to earth with a bump when the trading books are properly re-opened in the new year and the skeleton staffs reluctantly at their desks during the holiday season are rejoined by the rest of their colleagues.

And even if a new year hangover doesn't materialise, it is worth remembering that yesterday's 5437.6 close is still an awfully long way off the 6950.6 attained by the index at the end of the last decade.

We'll probably have to wait for several years into the next decade before it reaches those levels again, if it ever does. It's worth pointing out that in Japan it's now 20 years since the Nikkei peaked at 38,957. Yesterday it hit 10,638.06. Worth bearing in mind if your financial adviser starts talking equities at your new year review.

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