Five things you should know about the FTSE 100

Jessica Morris
Follow Jessica
The FTSE 100 has only ever had one day off of work (Source: Getty)

The FTSE 100 is edging closer to an all-time high, nearing the record of 6,930 points it hit on 30 December 1999. But how much do you know about...

  1. When it was born?
    The index began on 3 January 1984, at a base level of 1,000 points, in response to calls for a constantly updated index. It's calculated in real time and published every fifteen seconds when the market is open.
  2. When new companies are added?
    The companies which make up the benchmark index are determined on the Wednesday after the first Friday of the month in March, June, September and December. Eligible companies are ranked in order of their market value, but a committee meets to decide which companies will be promoted into or demoted from the FTSE 100.
  3. When it hit its last peak?
    The FTSE 100 soared to a record closing high of 6930.2 points on 30 December 1999, swelled by over-inflated technology stocks during the dot com boom. However, it never made it to 7000, because the tech bubble burst shortly after, while 2001 brought the 9/11 terrorist attacks on the US.
  4. When it had a day off?
    It's only had one day off, Friday 16 October 1987 when Britain was battered by its worst storm in 300 years. An estimated 15m trees were blown over by 90mph gales which swept across the south-east of England. Consequent power outages and transport nightmares meant the benchmark index wasn't calculated that day - there weren't enough people in work to open share prices on the London Stock Exchange trading system.
  5. When its worst intra-day fall was?
    The great storm precipitated, although it didn't cause, the worst day ever for the FTSE 100. Financial market turmoil in the Far East spread to Western Europe, later engulfing the United States, as global markets suffered. Britain's benchmark index shed 12.22 per cent which meant it closed down at just 1,801 points on 19 October 1987. Across Europe, Milan, Frankfurt and Paris all ended sharply down.

Related articles