FTSE 100

Britain’s blue-chip index is unusually skewed towards commodities. Oil and gas groups and miners collectively make up just over a fifth of the index. That helps explain why it has trailed its major counterparts in recent years.

The prominence of the banking sector, with its emphasis on lacklustre emerging markets, hasn’t helped matters either. Of the market’s six biggest sectors, only consumer goods and health care are “defensive”, but in total, companies unaffected by the economic cycle are worth 36% of the index, a slightly higher proportion than in many global peers.

Note too that 70% or so of FTSE 100 sales are made abroad, so it is more of a global index than a snapshot of UK plc.

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