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Merrill Lynch Declares 2000 "Tumultuous"

[Toronto, CANADA] As if telling us something we didn't already know, Merrill Lynch has declared 2000 "a tumultuous year for stock markets around the world."

According to a ranking by the Toronto-based financial services firm, only six of the world's top 38 stock markets indices posted gains over the past 12 months.

China's Shanghai B index posted the greatest rise for the year, gaining 136.6 percent. In second place was Ireland's bourse with an 11.7 percent jump, then Switzerland with a 5.5 percent increase. Canada was up 4.2 percent and Italy rose 3.2 percent while Israel posted an 1.5 percent increase. All other major markets were in negative territory.

Korea was the weakest market with a loss of almost 51 percent. Thailand and Taiwan also fell by more than 40 percent for the year. In the U.S., the S&P 500 declined by 10.5 percent, the worst performance since 1977. The NASDAQ Composite index lost 38.7 percent over the calendar year, the worst performance in its 28-year history.