FTSE 100 tumbles 31% in worst year on record

Banks take a pummelling, with HBOS slumping by more than 90 per cent

Global equity markets notched up record losses in 2008, with the UK's benchmark FTSE 100 index recording its worst performance since launching 24 years ago.

HBOS was the worst performing stock on the FTSE 100, slumping more than 90 per cent as the banking crisis gathered pace, forcing it to seek capital from shareholders and the Government, and ultimately driving it into the arms of Lloyds TSB, the rival with whom it is set to merge in 2009.

The blue chips as a whole were down a bruising 31 per cent, while the junior FTSE 250 index, seen as more representative of the UK economic picture, lost around 40 per cent of its value last year. The market, which is closed for business today, will resume trading tomorrow.

Japan's Nikkei 225, down 42 per cent, also recorded its biggest loss on record last year. New York's S&P 500, down 38.5 per cent over the past 12 months, has suffered its steepest decline since the Great Depression.

In the UK, besides HBOS, Royal Bank of Scotland is the other notable loser in the banking sector, shedding more than 86 per cent of its value since last January. Like HBOS, RBS had to seek the assistance of the Government, which is now its single largest shareholder.

"Increasing signs of weakening economic conditions, coupled with clear signs of persisting liquidity and capital pressures in the banking sector, have taken their toll on UK and equity markets more generally over the past year," according to market strategists at Cazenove.

The fallout is clear in a survey of the FTSE All Share index, which ranks the blue chips alongside counterparts from the FTSE 250 and the FTSE Small Cap indices.

Johnston Press, down 94 per cent, is the worst off. Besides grappling with the decline in advertising, the Edinburgh Evening News publisher has come under fire as investors sold out of companies saddled with high levels of debt.

Taylor Wimpey is next from the bottom with a loss of 93.4 per cent. Again, the stock, which began the year in the FTSE 100 but now sits in the more modest company of the small caps, faced the twin pressures of a slowdown in the housing market and a large debt pile.

Debt also came to haunt the FTSE 250-listed Punch Taverns, the pubs group that lost an eye-watering 92.4 per cent as the market began to question the tenanted pub model. The specialist finance group Cattles was the weakest among the mid-caps, losing 92.9 per cent of its value in 2008.

On the upside, Randgold Resources won the race on the FTSE 100, clocking up gains of almost 60 per cent as investors sought to increase their exposure to gold, the traditional safe haven in times of economic turmoil.

British Energy, buttressed by the bid from France's EDF, came second, gaining 40.9 per cent, while Astra-Zeneca, up 29.7 per cent, was third among the blue chips.

On the FTSE 250, Telecom Plus, a provider of low-cost utilities, fared the best, up more than 65 per cent.

But no one came close to the AIM-listed Sirius Petroleum, which soared 576 per cent. Formerly called Global Gaming Technologies, the company changed its name in September and is seeking opportunities in the oil and gas sector, with a particular focus on Nigeria. Equator Exploration, which is also focused on oil and gas in West Africa, came second, rising by 183 per cent.

Life and Style
Small winemakers say the restriction makes it hard to sell overseas
food + drink
Arts and Entertainment
A comedy show alumni who has gone on to be a big star, Jon Stewart
tvRival television sketch shows vie for influential alumni
Arts and Entertainment
Carrie Hope Fletcher
booksFirst video bloggers conquered YouTube. Now they want us to buy their books
News
Clare Balding
peopleClare Balding on how women's football is shaking up sport
PROMOTED VIDEO
Arts and Entertainment
Damien Hirst
artCoalition's anti-culture policy and cuts in local authority spending to blame, says academic
Sport
premier leagueMatch report: Arsenal 1 Man United 2
Arts and Entertainment
Kirk Cameron is begging his Facebook fans to give him positive reviews
film
News
i100
Sport
Jonny May scores for England
rugby unionEngland 28 Samoa 9: Wing scores twice to help England record their first win in six
Life and Style
fashionThe Christmas jumper is in fashion, but should you wear your religion on your sleeve?
News
ebooksNow available in paperback
Arts and Entertainment
Jason goes on a special mission for the queen
tvReview: Everyone loves a CGI Cyclops and the BBC's Saturday night charmer is getting epic
Arts and Entertainment
Jerry Hall (Hand out press photograph provided by jackstanley@theambassadors.com)
theatre
Sport
Tony Bellew (left) and Nathan Cleverly clash at the Echo Arena in Liverpool
boxingLate surge sees Liverpudlian move into world title contention
Voices
Neil Findlay
voicesThe vilification of the potential Scottish Labour leader Neil Findlay shows how one-note politics is today, says DJ Taylor
Life and Style
food + drinkMeat-free recipes and food scandals help one growing sector
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

Reach Volunteering: Trustee – PR& Marketing, Social Care, Commercial skills

Voluntary Only - Expenses Reimbursed: Reach Volunteering: Age Concern Slough a...

Reach Volunteering: Charity Treasurer

Voluntary Only - Expenses Reimbursed: Reach Volunteering: Crossroads Care is s...

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant - Soho

£20000 - £25000 per annum + OTE £35,000: SThree: We consistently strive to be ...

Ampersand Consulting LLP: Markit EDM (CADIS) Developer

£50000 - £90000 per annum + benefits: Ampersand Consulting LLP: Markit EDM (CA...

Day In a Page

Mau Mau uprising: Kenyans still waiting for justice join class action over Britain's role in the emergency

Kenyans still waiting for justice over Mau Mau uprising

Thousands join class action over Britain's role in the emergency
Isis in Iraq: The trauma of the last six months has overwhelmed the remaining Christians in the country

The last Christians in Iraq

After 2,000 years, a community will try anything – including pretending to convert to Islam – to avoid losing everything, says Patrick Cockburn
Black Friday: Helpful discounts for Christmas shoppers, or cynical marketing by desperate retailers?

Helpful discounts for Christmas shoppers, or cynical marketing by desperate retailers?

Britain braced for Black Friday
Bill Cosby's persona goes from America's dad to date-rape drugs

From America's dad to date-rape drugs

Stories of Bill Cosby's alleged sexual assaults may have circulated widely in Hollywood, but they came as a shock to fans, says Rupert Cornwell
Clare Balding: 'Women's sport is kicking off at last'

Clare Balding: 'Women's sport is kicking off at last'

As fans flock to see England women's Wembley debut against Germany, the TV presenter on an exciting 'sea change'
Oh come, all ye multi-faithful: The Christmas jumper is in fashion, but should you wear your religion on your sleeve?

Oh come, all ye multi-faithful

The Christmas jumper is in fashion, but should you wear your religion on your sleeve?
Dr Charles Heatley: The GP off to do battle in the war against Ebola

The GP off to do battle in the war against Ebola

Dr Charles Heatley on joining the NHS volunteers' team bound for Sierra Leone
Flogging vlogging: First video bloggers conquered YouTube. Now they want us to buy their books

Flogging vlogging

First video bloggers conquered YouTube. Now they want us to buy their books
Saturday Night Live vs The Daily Show: US channels wage comedy star wars

Saturday Night Live vs The Daily Show

US channels wage comedy star wars
When is a wine made in Piedmont not a Piemonte wine? When EU rules make Italian vineyards invisible

When is a wine made in Piedmont not a Piemonte wine?

When EU rules make Italian vineyards invisible
Look what's mushrooming now! Meat-free recipes and food scandals help one growing sector

Look what's mushrooming now!

Meat-free recipes and food scandals help one growing sector
Neil Findlay is more a pink shrimp than a red firebrand

More a pink shrimp than a red firebrand

The vilification of the potential Scottish Labour leader Neil Findlay shows how one-note politics is today, says DJ Taylor
Bill Granger recipes: Tenderstem broccoli omelette; Fried eggs with Mexican-style tomato and chilli sauce; Pan-fried cavolo nero with soft-boiled egg

Oeuf quake

Bill Granger's cracking egg recipes
Terry Venables: Wayne Rooney is roaring again and the world knows that England are back

Terry Venables column

Wayne Rooney is roaring again and the world knows that England are back
Michael Calvin: Abject leadership is allowing football’s age-old sores to fester

Abject leadership is allowing football’s age-old sores to fester

Those at the top are allowing the same issues to go unchallenged, says Michael Calvin