Market Report: The FTSE-100 suffers a painful start to the New Year


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The Independent Online

It was one of those days when the hangover wasn’t justified by the party.

Having ended 2014 with a New Year’s Eve whimper, the FTSE-100 suffered a painful start to the New Year, too. The FTSE-100 fell 18.29 points to 6547.8 on a headache of a day which saw the market down 1 per cent at one stage. The global economy was the main worry, as it was for much of 2014. Stocks dependent particularly on emerging markets took points off the blue chip index.

British American Tobacco choked with a slide of 47.5p to 3452.5p – accounting for about 3 points off the FTSE index. SAB Miller, the brewery giant which also makes up a big weight in the top 100, fell 39.75p to 3321.25p, while Coca-Cola HBC, which bottles the world’s most popular fizzy drink, fell more than 3 per cent, or 40p, to 1188p.

Why all this worry about emerging markets? Well, some traders figured it was just a general malaise, while others pointed the finger firmly in the direction of tiny Turkmenistan. The former Soviet republic may be small, but it serves as a barometer of just how badly the once-promising former Soviet republics are faring since the collapse of the oil price and Vladimir Putin’s adventures abroad. Turkmenistan devalued its currency on New Year’s Day by 18 per cent against the dollar. That followed on from Kyrgyzstan’s 17 per cent and Kazakhstan’s 14 per cent in 2014.

These are nations in a region whose economies could implode in 2015, along with so many other oil and commodities states: for Eastern Europe, read Latin America, Africa, Asia, say the pessimists.

Peru-focused Baron Oil fell 0.1p to 1.1p after announcing chief executive Rudoph Berends had died.

You may have thought paying your CEO north of £13m a year might not be the greatest use of shareholder money. But that’s not how investors in the package tour operator  Tui took news of Peter Long’s wedge for 2014.

Tui shares leaped to the top of the sluggish FTSE-100 leader board with a rise of 19p to 1089p.

Perhaps the chilly weather pushed investors’ minds towards warmer climes.