By Tanya Jefferies

|

Investors have been cheered by UK shares in 2013 but the question now is whether the FTSE 100 hit an all-time high in 2014?

The FTSE 100 has closed the year up 14.5 per cent, while the FTSE 250 index has rocketed by 29 per cent.

Nearly a quarter of investors think London’s top index will bust its previous record and end above 7,001 next year, according to a Barclays poll.

Confidence in equities appears to have made a comeback, as investors take satisfaction in tidy returns this year. The FTSE 100 has ended the year 14.5 per cent up on its opening level of 5,897.80. Its close of 6,749.1 today puts it within tantalising reach of its record high to date of 6,950.6, which it hit back on 30 December 1999.

Rollercoaster: The Footsie edged up another 18 points from 6,731 today to end the year at 6,749.

Rollercoaster: The Footsie edged up another 18 points from 6,731 today to end the year at 6,749.

The FTSE 250 index closed the year at 15,935.4 – almost a third higher than its close of 12,374 on 31 December 2012. This index is considered a better barometer of UK PLC than the highly international FTSE 100.

Asked where the FTSE 100 will close on the last day of 2014, some 24 per cent of investors polled by Barclays Stockbrokers predicted it would be above 7,001 (see table below).

Some 41 per cent hedged their bets somewhat, saying they believed it would finish between 6,501 and 7,000.

This indicates both optimism that the top index could trump its previous record high and remain above it, but also a degree of caution that a pull-back from 2013’s levels was possible.

One in five of the 1,000-plus investors who were surveyed forecast that the FTSE 100 would close between 6,001 and 6,500 at the end of next year, while 10 per cent predicted it would be somewhere between 5,501 and 6,000.

Only 2 per cent thought it would crash below 5,500.

The FTSE 100 ended 2013 on a high note despite a year of market turbulence, during which it peaked at 6,840 and fell to a low of 6,027.

Much of the volatility was down to speculation over when the US Federal Reserve, the most powerful central bank in the world, would start scaling back its vast stimulus programme.

The project was originally aimed at helping the US recover from the 2008 financial crisis, but the Fed’s efforts generated plentiful cheap cash that ended up in stocks and fuelled a global rally.

Soaring: The FTSE 250 is up by almost a third this year.

Soaring: The FTSE 250 is up by almost a third this year.

WHERE DO YOU THINK THE FTSE 100 WILL BE ON THE LAST DAY OF 2014?

Fed bosses announced the first small cut or ‘taper’ to the scheme just before Christmas, but this did not cause any major upset as the move was already priced into stocks. Investors also welcomed the Fed’s strong signal of faith in the US economic recovery, and its pledge to keep interest rates low.

Chris Stevenson of Barclays Stockbrokers said: ‘Our clients have expressed a positive view on how the FTSE 100 index will perform next year.

‘Despite the index experiencing some relative volatility at times during 2013, it is encouraging to see investors have an optimistic outlook for the FTSE 100 going into 2014.’

Shaun Port of online investment manager Nutmeg said: ‘As we move into 2014, growth forecasts are buoyant. We don’t think this is simply because of a quantitative easing inspired bubble.

‘There are solid signs of growth and enough concrete reasoning to believe there will be good gains in the market next year, despite recent week-on-week drops.

‘The US tapering its bond-buying programme may lead to further volatility in the short term, but such tapering is a sure sign of a strong US economy which can only benefit global equity markets in the long run.’

The comments below have not been moderated.

I would say around where they finished 2013.A lot of uncertainty with the lack of wage inflation hindering the recovery.

This is just temporary ………. FTSE 100 may drop to 6200. Have retailers really had a good 2013!!

it going to get rough for FTSE 100 possible heading south toward 6200, who knows!!

We have seem to all forgot about the PIIGS!!!

Substantial profits again this year…..good luck to those on savings rates of 1%.

I am going to ask my dog. He’s an expert.

That “chunky 14%” doesn’t include dividends!

Buy Bitcoin, it went from 10 pound to 550 pound this year. Lets see where it goes in 2014!

Please explain how you measure it objectively.

This simply shows that a currency bubble is inflating! That plus a tech bubble on top of it all, google over 1000$ a share? Crap is going to hit the fan again soon, all this faux money being printed is simply propping up a bubble far bigger than 2008 (close to 1 tril $ alone per year in the US with very little sign of stopping, the markets are addicted to it) Dow Jones edging ever nearer to 18,000, Japans stocks up 57% in one year yet their economy is stagnated, gold is coming out of a dip in prices and is going to rise fast in 2014, buy physical-in-your hands gold people, not the paper that says you own it!

“A cynic is someone who knows the price of everything and the value of nothing” – Oscar Wilde. You’re just miffed because you missed out – and will continue to miss out if you follow your own “advice”.

The views expressed in the contents above are those of our users and do not necessarily reflect the views of MailOnline.