• 2019 was the year of the mid cap with outperformance of the domestically focused FTSE 250: the index gained 27% on the year while almost half of the indices' shares made 10 year or all time highs. Of the 119 highs, 94 of them occurred in Q4 and  87 in December alone.  
  • 2019 was a relatively poor year for small caps with 40% of the AIM All-Shares' 724 shares making 10 year or all-time-lows.  This was likely a follow-on phenomenon from the 2018 bear market in AIM. 2020 may prove a stellar recovery year for the small caps if risk appetite returns and 2018/19 proves to be the low point in sentiment.
  • Only the FSTE 250 index made an all-time high while the FTSE 100 didn't revisit its 2018 high of 7900 . There may be more room for FTSE 100 out-performance in 2020 especially given its relative under-performance to other global bourses in 2019.

(This shorter article is an extract from a broader study published on which also includes a 60 page interactive data report analysing 1380 UK stocks performance in 2019 and enabling user defined  bespoke analysis. All of the figure below are sourced from

Hindsight in 2020

As we start 2020 riding the wave of a stellar Q4 2019, it's worth looking back on 2019's performance. If 2018 ended in dire pessimism, 2019 ended in wild exuberance as political uncertainty in the UK resolved against a broader global macro of low/negative interest rates and increased monetary accommodation. Performances of the major indices for 2018 and 2019 are show in Figures 1 and 2 for both years


Figure 1. Major Global Indices Price Performance 2019


Figure 2. Major Global Indices Price Performance 2018

2018 saw huge swings in UK markets as mid-year highs gave way to gut wrenching
lows in Q4 with the FTSE 100 and 250 losing -12.5% and -17.5% respectively on
the year. The AIM All-Share  was most effected not least by losing over 18% on the year but by suffering  a peak-to-trough fall of almost 25% - a technical bear market. The UK indices declined by more that their European or US analogues in 2018.

2019 saw the UK markets bounce back with double digits gains across all indices…

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