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The BBC's Rebecca Pike
"It was the end- not the begining, of the Hi-Tech honeymoon"
 real 28k

Friday, 29 December, 2000, 15:58 GMT
Stock markets see red over 2000
London Stock Exchange
It has been a turbulent year for stocks and shares
The year 2000 is set to be the worst in a decade for many stockmarket investors, with all the world's leading share indexes ending the year with hefty losses.

The past 12 months are likely to go down as one of the markets' most volatile times on record, and the biggest losers of the year are technology shares.

The mother of all tech markets, the Nasdaq, registered a 39.28% drop of its composite index this year. The index closed 3.41% lower on Friday to 2,471.30.

Its more staid rival, the Dow Jones index, closed 0.75 lower on the day to 10,786.85 and about 6.2% lower on the year.

In London, the FTSE 100 share index closed at 6,222.5 points - a loss of 10.2% over the past 12 months.

It is the first time since 1994 for the index to end the year with a loss, and only the third time since it was first compiled in 1984.

Germany's Dax index dropped 7.5% over the year.

Another poor performer was Tokyo's Nikkei index, which closed with a 27.2% loss on the year - and a massive 34% drop from the highs reached in March.

The last time that the Tokyo stock exchange recorded an annual loss was 1990, the year Japan's economic bubble burst and property prices collapsed.

France's Cac-40 index was a rare exception - still losing on the year, but just half a percent.

The winners

But there are a few surprise winners. The best performer was the Chinese stockmarket, gaining a whopping 136% - albeit from a very low base.

The number two, with an 11% gain, was the Irish Stock Exchange in Dublin, followed by the number three, the Swiss stock market.

Long-term investment

However, the dramatic losses of the year 2000 compare with equally astounding gains a year earlier.

The Nasdaq, for example, added 85% in value during 1999.

Investors who bought shares two years ago are likely to have come out ahead.

Those who jumped into the markets just before they peaked during the first quarter of this year must decide whether they want to cut their losses and bail out, or whether they hope to make them up in the long-term.

Telecoms, media and technology

Around the world, so-called TMT shares - telecom, media and technology - were worst hit.

A stark example of the decline is British Telecom, which saw its shares lose more than half their value.

It has not been a steady slide, as there have been wild swings in the index in one of the London Stock Exchange's most volatile trading years yet recorded.

For the year 2000, investors would have been better off putting their money in a savings account, but financial advisors say they should not panic.

They say shares should be seen as a long-term investment, and investment banks are already predicting that 2001 will be a much more lucrative year on the markets.

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See also:

05 Dec 00 | Business
Blue chip index sheds tech stocks
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