The last of the major global financial markets will close for the year in just a few hours.  The S&P 500 started the year at 1,257, and it’s trading right around that level now.

So does this mean nothing happened in the financial markets this year?

Of course, not.  Perhaps the most surprising asset class of 2011 was US Treasuries.  Between QE2 ending and the US credit rating getting downgraded, most bond experts thought Treasuries would collapse.  But the exact opposite happened.

From Reuters chart guru Scott Barber, here’s a quick look at how the world’s major financial asset classes performed this year:


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