The FTSE 100 has recorded its finest 12 months since 2016, as UK shares recovered from the pandemic shock of 2020.London’s main index of blue-chip shares rallied by 14.3% throughout 2021, a 12 months after falling by the identical share in its worst drop because the 2008 monetary disaster. It closed at 7384 factors on Friday, having began the 12 months at 6460 factors.Shares had been lifted in the course of the 12 months by financial optimism as Covid-19 vaccines allowed economies to reopen, with stimulus packages from governments and central banks rising progress. Traders largely shrugged off worries about inflation, provide chain disruption and coronavirus variants comparable to Omicron.chartThe extra domestically targeted FTSE 250 index gained 14.6% over 2021 to finish the 12 months at 23,480 factors, having hit a report excessive of 24,353 in September. Many different inventory markets additionally rose strongly by means of the 12 months, with the MSCI World index of world equities gaining 17%.Ashtead Group, an industrial tools rental firm, was the best-performing FTSE 100 inventory. It rallied by 73%, after its revenues had been boosted by the worldwide financial rebound as main constructing websites reopened.The aerospace group Meggitt surged 58% after a takeover strategy from US rival Parker Hannifin. The deal is being scrutinised by competitors authorities. The mining firm Glencore rose by greater than 65%, lifted by rallying commodity costs, whereas Royal Mail jumped 56% due to sturdy demand for parcel deliveries.The speciality chemical substances producer Croda gained 53%, after a report efficiency together with producing components utilized in Covid-19 vaccines.Banks and oil firms additionally had sturdy years, however a few of final 12 months’s “pandemic winners” suffered, with Ocado falling 26%. IAG, British Airways’ father or mother firm, fell 10% throughout 2021 owing to issues that Omicron would delay a journey restoration.London lagged behind another main European indices, with France’s CAC hovering 20% and Italy’s FTSE MIB up 23%. The pan-European Stoxx 600 hit a sequence of report highs, lifted by know-how companies and monetary shares. Luxurious additionally did nicely, with LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton’s shares firmly in trend, up greater than 40%.Signal as much as the each day Enterprise In the present day e mail or observe Guardian Enterprise on Twitter at @BusinessDesk Japan’s Nikkei 225 completed 2021 at its highest year-end stage since 1989, rising nearly 5%. It’s nonetheless about 25% beneath its report peak 32 years in the past, earlier than the Japanese inventory market bubble burst.Wall Avenue led the way in which, lifted by massive tech firms comparable to Alphabet, which surged by about 66%. The S&P 500 index of US shares rallied by 27% over the 12 months, reaching 70 report closing highs, as company earnings had been lifted by greater client spending, and money flooded into fairness funds.“On the entire, 2021 has been a wonderful 12 months for fairness returns,” says Richard Flax, the chief funding officer at digital wealth supervisor Moneyfarm.“The second half of the 12 months has seen a little bit extra volatility than the primary half – thanks largely to the Omicron variant inflicting uncertainty – however the likes of the US, Europe and Japan have seen sturdy progress.”Regardless of this 12 months’s restoration, the FTSE 100 remains to be 6.5% beneath its peak of 7903 factors, which was set in Could 2018, whereas the US, German and French markets all hit report highs this 12 months.Oil costs rebounded by about 50% throughout 2021, lifted by greater demand and cautious manufacturing will increase by the Opec group and its allies. However gold dropped 4%, with the prospect of upper rates of interest dampening the enchantment of belongings that don’t present revenue.