What are the best stock indexes of 2020? Here are the results if Canadians had put $1,000 in 11 markets in early January

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      Stock markets were closed on New Year's Day. But if Canadians put their money down on major world stock indexes on January 2, the results would have varied tremendously, depending on the country.

      That's because the Canadian dollar has gone down against most currencies, but it's risen in comparison to the British pound and the Indian rupee.

      So what does that mean for people's investment portfolios?

      For fun, I looked at what would happen if someone invested $1,000 of Canadian currency on 11 major indexes around at the start of the year.

      Then I factored in the exchange rate on June 26 compared to January 2, based on the Bank of Canada's figures.

      Here are the results.

      1. NASDAQ Composite Index: $1,158.20

      The U.S. dollar rose 4.26 percent against the Canadian loonie; the index is up 12.08 percent this year.

      2. Shenzhen Composite Index: $1,154.12

      The Chinese yuan rose 2.68 percent against the Canadian dollar; the index is up 12.4 percent this year. 

      3. S&P 500: $1,006.07

      This broadly based U.S. index is down 3.5 percent in 2020, but the rise of the American dollar has softened the blow for Canadian investors. Had they put money down on January 2, they would still be in the black.

      4. Nikkei 225: $1001.11

      The Nikkei 225 in Tokyo fell 5.15 percent this year. But the Japanese yen rose 5.8 percent against the Canadian dollar, which means that even though stocks went down in Tokyo, a Canadian investor would have come out slightly ahead.

      5. Shanghai A Share Index: $998.56

      It hasn't been a great year for investors in Shanghai, with the stock index down 2.75 percent. But the rising yuan versus the loonie would have meant that Canadian investors wouldn't have lost their shirt by betting on this exchange's index on January 2.

      6. Dow Jones Industrial Average $949.88

      This basket of large-cap Wall Street stocks hasn't fared nearly as well as the more tech-heavy NASDAQ Composite Index. The Dow is down 8.81 percent in 2020, but the rising U.S. dollar has helped offset this loss for Canadian investors.

      7. Hang Seng Index: $911.20

      It's been a horrific 2020 for investors in Hong Kong's stock market, with the index dropping 13.05 percent since January 2. But the Hong Kong dollar is up 4.8 percent over the Canadian loonie over the same period.

      8. S&P/TSX Composite Index: $909.40

      With Canada Day looming, Canadian investors don't have much to celebrate when it comes to their premier stock index's performance in 2020. While Shopify has been a star, most of the other stocks have been duds, particularly in the oil and gas sector.

      9. Euronext Top 100 Index: $908.31

      The euro has fared exceptionally well against the Canadian dollar in 2020, rising 4.9 percent. But the continent's major stock index has been battered, falling 14.39 percent since the start of January.

      10. S&P BSE Sensex: $817.95

      Mumbai's market has been pummelled this year, falling 15.38 percent. Compounding the problem has been the fall of the rupee, which is down nearly 3.4 percent against the Canadian dollar.

      11. FTSE 100 Index: $811.90

      It's been a year to forget for investors in this London index, which dropped 17.21 percent from January 2 to June 22. The British pound has also fallen against the Canadian dollar.

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