The FTSE 100 has climbed to a fresh 15-month high of 5,451.79 this morning, with the 0.72% rise continuing the strong gains posted over the festive period.
London's blue chip index became the first major stock market to bounce back to the pre-Lehman Brothers collapse levels over the Christmas break, positing its best yearly return since 1997.
The FTSE climbed 54% over the last nine months of the year to close 2009 at 5,412.88 points, a gain of 22% over the 12-month period. However, this level was still 22% behind its peak on the last trading day of 1999.
Miners were the top performers in 2009 following the rebound in commodity prices, with eight of the top ten moves over the past 12 months.
Kazakhmys led the way, up 474.9%; with Vedanta Resources and Fresnillo 327% and 244.3% higher respectively.
The Royal Bank of Scotland was the worst performing stock over the year, falling 40.9%. Fellow banking giant Lloyds declined 18.9%.
Commercial property group Segro and building supplies firm Wolseley fell 22.3% and 22.1% respectively.
In the US, the major indices ended 2009 with the highest gains since 2003.
During 2009, the S&P 500 returned 23.4%, the Dow industrials gained 18.8% and the Nasdaq added 44%. In 2003 - the S&P 500 climbed 26.4%, the Dow added 25.3% and the Nasdaq gained 50%.
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