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How the world’s stock markets fared in 2020

The UK’s FTSE 100 is likely to suffer its worst year since 2008 and Spain's IBEX 35 has fallen more than 18 per cent in 2020

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The year 2020 has seen 1.7 million people die from COVID-19 and millions lose their jobs. In finance, stock markets across the world have experienced record lows as well as highs.

European markets closed significantly lower on Monday as investors monitored a fast-spreading new variant of the coronavirus that has shut down much of the UK.

“Markets are reeling from the latest twist in the coronavirus crisis, which has clouded the outlook for the remainder of 2020 and much of the first quarter of 2021,” AJ Bell investment director Russ Mould told Reuters.

“Restrictions on traffic between the UK and other countries, including in the case of France on freight, has raised the pressure on a supply chain already creaking under the weight of an online Christmas and Brexit uncertainty.”

In the eight months since global markets crashed by an average 34 per cent due to the coronavirus pandemic being declared, stock markets worldwide have rebounded by 62 per cent with the losses from this record-breaking crash fully recovered by 23 August.

However, two stock markets have not recovered. Spain’s IBEX 35, which is the largest and most international of Spain’s four regional stock exchanges, has fallen a staggering 18.42 per cent this year. In April, it plunged 28.94 per cent – its worst-ever quarter – and it had its worst trading day in six months on Monday.

The UK’s FTSE 100 is likely to suffer its worst year since 2008, reported The Telegraph. The FTSE 100 has dropped 13 per cent this year, compared to a five per cent drop for eurozone blue chips. Compare this to the technology heavy Nasdaq Composite Index, which is up 42.44 per cent this year.

Based on a minimum market capitalisation of US$5 billion, the top performer is Novavax, one of the contenders for an effective COVID-19 vaccine. The S&P 500, an index of the largest 500 companies on the stock market, has risen 14.61 per cent and on Monday added Elon Musk’s company Tesla, the most valuable company ever added to the S&P 500, accounting for 1.69 per cent of the index.

The Dow Jones Industrial is up 5.83 per cent this year, with the top performing stock being US technology company Apple, which has risen 72.67 per cent and is outperforming the overall stock market by 54.64 per cent.

Japan’s Nikkei 225 has increased 3346 points or 14.42 per cent since the beginning of 2020. In Malaysia, the Bursa Malaysia has risen 2.83 per cent since the start of the year, with Hartalega Holdings, the largest producer of nitrile gloves in the world, the star performer, rising 127.69 per cent.

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