FTSE 100 adds 22% in 2009
Despite the doom and gloom in 2009, London’s FTSE added 22% over the course of the year – the biggest annual gain since 1997.
Similar gains were seen in Europe with Germany’s Dax gaining 23% and France’s Cac added 22%.
The FTSE 100 hit a low point in March 2009 of 3512 but ended 2009 at 5412.88.
Companies experiencing strong gains included luxury fashion label, Burberry, which saw its share price almost treble in 2009.
Banks had an interesting year with Lloyds Banking Group embarking on the biggest capital raising in British history.
Lloyds’ share price rose to almost 75p earlier this year but ended the year at 50.6p – a fall of 19%.
Meanwhile, shares in Barclays plummeted as low as 51p at one point as traders feared it was on the brink of seeking Government aid but the shares recovered to close up almost 80% at 276p. HSBC gained 22% this year and also tapped investors for cash.
However, it was the industrial metals sector that led the way with a 303% gain by Ferrexpo.
Fresnillo, the Mexican gold and silver miner, experienced a near seven-fold rise, while Rangold Resources gained 70% to £50. Lonmin, the platinum specialist soared 125% to £19.59.
Xstrata surged 209% to £11.21 after a cash call of £4.2 billion to strengthen its balance sheet allayed investors fears.
However, the worst-performing sector was general insurance, with Admiral ending the year with a 2% gain.
In the meantime, commodities formed part of the strong recovery with gold continually reaching fresh highs at the end of 2009 as the US dollar plummeted.
The rise of the price of gold was attributed to a weakening US dollar, which typically moves in the opposite direction to the precious metal.
The dollar has been falling after the Federal Reserve said US interest rates will remain low, which makes the US currency less attractive to investors.