World Markets Year-End Update: A Record Close for the UK's Top-Performing FTSE

Five of the eight indexes on our world watch list posted gains for the holiday-shortened final week of 2016. India's SENSEX was the top performer with its 2.25% advance, followed closely by Hong Kong's Hang Seng, up 1.97%. But it was the third place finisher that commands the spotlight. The UK's FTSE rose 1.06% for the week and ended the year with three consecutive record closes.

The Last Four Weeks

The tables below provide a concise overview of performance comparisons over the last four weeks for these eight major indexes. We've also included the average for each week so that we can evaluate the performance of a specific index relative to the overall mean and better understand weekly volatility. The colors for each index name help us visualize the comparative performance over time.

Four Weeks

2016 Year-End Performance

Here is an overlay of the eight illustrating their comparative performance in 2016.

Here is a table of the 2016 performance, sorted from high to low, along with the most recent highs for the eight indexes. seven of the indexes posted 2016 gains, with the Brexit-charged FTSE the top performer by nearly five percent over the second place S&P 500. China's Shanghai remains in the cellar, the sole index in the gang of eight to finish with a 2016 loss, and a whopper at that.

Bear Market Perspective

The column chart is sorted by the least to worst declines from previous peaks as of the week's end. Seven of our eight watch list indexes had dropped into bear territory (a 20% decline), the S&P 500 being the sole exception. As of the latest close, two indexes are in the bear zone, unchanged from the previous week.

Global Bear Markets