The FTSE ended 2015 5% lower than it started 364 days ago after closing 32 points down at 6,242. It opened the year at 6,566 and in April soared to record highs north of 7,000.

But falling energy prices and colossal losses by mining giants weighed down on the index of leading shares as well as contraction in the Chinese economy.

The London market closed early at 12.30pm on New year's Eve as traders downed tools to see in 2016. The week had been a quiet one with little data and no company news.

"After a year that began so promisingly the markets are wrapping up 2015 in the limpest way possible, a collective sigh instead of any attempt at New Year's Eve fireworks," said Connor Campbell, financial analyst at Spreadex.

"The US looks unlikely to bring any New Year cheer either, with the Dow Jones currently looking at a meagre 10-point rise when the bell rings on Wall Street, something that still leaves it down around 1% across the past 12 months".

Commodity heavyweights have bore the brunt of the falling prices of raw materials. Shares in Glencore fell below £1 and closed a shade over 90p on New Year's Eve.