While the global economic downturn has affected almost all sectors of business activity, some sectors were especially impacted by the onset of the pandemic.
The negative influence of COVID-19 on the airline industry has been severe, with most countries implementing bans or restrictions on international and domestic travel. Accordingly, the MSCI stock price index for airlines declined by 51 per cent by April 2020, compared to end 2019. The oil and gas sector was also heavily disrupted, as collapsing demand led to sharp reductions in the price of crude oil and derivatives.
On the other hand, health care companies — particularly those involved with research and technology — have performed well in 2020. This is a consequence of the investment by governments and private sector in research towards treatments and vaccines for COVID-19.
The retail sector, especially in regards to food and other staples, also outperformed the market. Some retailers offset the decline in face-to-face sales by creating online shopping facilities and zero-contact delivery services.