If you had had money to invest on the world stock exchanges at the beginning of 2007 where would you have found the best returns?
This year certainly came up with big surprises.
The overall big winner for the record was Bangladesh which put in a 134 percent return this year.
But few traders track Bangladesh’s stocks, most sticking to the major players.
And the winner in that league this year was China’s Shanghai index, up 97 percent.
That makes it the world’s best performing major stock index in 2007.
In Europe, the Frankfurt Dax was the winner at 21 percent. But the FTSE at 3.9 percent and Paris just 1 percent lagged well behind, both poor performers.
Shanghai’s surge did stagger to a halt in October after reaching a record high. Since then it’s lost 14 percent as investors fear a speculative bubble taking shape in China’s economy.
The crisis in the sub-prime credit sector clearly had an impact on the markets, which went through a roller coaster ride. The Dow Jones still managed to rise by 7 percent and the Nasdaq by 11 percent.
The meltdown in the mortgage market is far from over, and is expected to weigh heavily on the world markets next year.
However investors who had bets on Japan are likely to be glad 2007 is coming to an end.
The Nikkei was the big loser this year, down 11 percent, making it the worst performer in Asia.
Those who bet on oil also made a wise decision. Now selling for close to $100 a barrel the price has nearly doubled since the start of 2007.