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Will the UK escape the worst of the bear market?

UK equities may escape a total beating
Will the UK escape the worst of the bear market?

Should we be thankful for small mercies? We can still debate whether there is a bear market in London’s shares, but that discussion is pretty much over and done with in the US, as the small table shows.

The bear figures: how the UK and US compare
 All-Share S&P 500
Trading days111116
Rising days5849
Falling days5367
Index change this year (%)-5.5-21.3
Change on high (%)-7.4-21.8
Maximum one-day fall (%)-3.7-4.0
Source: FactSet; data relate to 2022

When a market drops 5 per cent in almost six months, as has London’s as measured by the FTSE All-Share index, it is meandering with, perhaps, a better-than-even’s chance it will finish the year higher than it began. When it falls over 20 per cent from its high, as in the case of the S&P 500, the US equivalent of the All-Share, then it is a bear market. End of discussion.

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