How did markets perform in 2013?

<p>The Nikkei had a great year, rising by 58 per cent.</p>

Stock markets around the world have performed admirably during 2013, with the Nikkei seeing particularly strong growth over the course of the year.

The Japanese index is currently 58 per cent up for the year and has been able to put the global financial crash firmly behind it, though some of its sessions have been choppy for investors.

It is not only the Nikkei that has seen good levels of growth in the last 12 months, as US markets the Dow Jones Industrial Average and the S&P 500 were up by 22 per cent and 25 per cent respectively, showing the American economy is getting stronger again.

In Europe the story was much the same during 2013 with even Greece's main stock market recording growth of 27 per cent in 2013. The Dax is 22 per cent higher and in the UK, the FTSE 100 has increased its value by ten per cent. A 30 per cent rise in Ireland's main index has been recorded too, along with a 17 per cent rise in Spain's Ibex and a 13 per cent gain for Portugal.

Speaking to BBC News, senior foreign exchange strategist at Rabobank Jane Foley stated that there is still going to be a "massive battle" ahead for stock markets all over the world.

"The rises we are seeing in consumption may not stay," she said, adding that the strong currency of the year has been the euro, which "has been surprisingly resilient" in 2013 so far.

Currency gains

Holger Schmieding, the chief economist at Berenberg Bank, stated that the resilience of the euro can be explained by there previously being no lender of last resort, which meant issues with economies such as Greece soon spread across the eurozone.

"Ever since the European Central Bank has established itself as a lender of last resort, everything has gone right. Spain is growing, Germany is growing, Ireland and Portugal are growing," he said.

Looking ahead to 2014, investors will be confident stock markets around the world will continue to rise, while the euro is worth keeping an eye on as the eurozone recovers from recession.

Learn about the sterling and forex trading at City Index

Join our live webinars for the latest analysis and trading ideas. Register now

GAIN Capital UK Limited (trading as “City Index”) is an execution-only service provider. This material, whether or not it states any opinions, is for general information purposes only and it does not take into account your personal circumstances or objectives. This material has been prepared using the thoughts and opinions of the author and these may change. However, City Index does not plan to provide further updates to any material once published and it is not under any obligation to keep this material up to date. This material is short term in nature and may only relate to facts and circumstances existing at a specific time or day. Nothing in this material is (or should be considered to be) financial, investment, legal, tax or other advice and no reliance should be placed on it.

No opinion given in this material constitutes a recommendation by City Index or the author that any particular investment, security, transaction or investment strategy is suitable for any specific person. The material has not been prepared in accordance with legal requirements designed to promote the independence of investment research. Although City Index is not specifically prevented from dealing before providing this material, City Index does not seek to take advantage of the material prior to its dissemination. This material is not intended for distribution to, or use by, any person in any country or jurisdiction where such distribution or use would be contrary to local law or regulation.

For further details see our full non-independent research disclaimer and quarterly summary.