2020 was a year of extremes on the financial market. The FTSE 100 suffered its worst year since the financial crisis, with shares falling 14.3% over the course of the year, compared to a 31.3% drawback during 2008.
Since the height of the pandemic, however, stock markets across the world have staged a steady comeback, with markets in the US in particular racing ahead during the second half of the year.
Early fears about the extent of economic damage that would be caused by the pandemic were soon shown to be unfounded, allowing for a gradual return of confidence.
Investors were able to take advantage of reduced share prices to grow their investments, pushing up the markets.
While bad news on the virus spread or new lockdown measures could have a temporary pullback effect, the good news about vaccines later in the year pushed the markets higher.
Winners And Losers
Even during the worst days of the early pandemic, some businesses were bucking the trend. While leisure and hospitality shares were rock bottom, tech stocks, particularly those that could facilitate the shift towards remote working, such as Zoom, were sent sky-high.
Despite many pundits believing that Tesla shares were looking bubbly at the beginning of 2020, it has again grown consistently over the past twelve months.
E-commerce businesses such as MercadoLibre, Shopify and Pinduoduou have all seen huge increases in their market value.