If we thought October was bad for equity markets, last week took volatility and down turns to a whole new level.
Since the beginning of December the S+P 500 Index in the US has fallen by 4.6%, and if that index stays at or near current levels, it will mark the worst December performance since 2003. Note – way before the 2008 financial meltdown.
However, Octobers sell off was largely down to trade fears, and the prediction of rising interest rates in America. This has largely been assuaged by the statement from Federal Reserve Chairman, Jerome Powell, who said interest rates are now ‘just below normal’, so anxiety over higher interest rates is no longer justified. One problem down.
The UK has been given a ‘Get out of Jail’ card by the European Court of Justice, so problem number 2 down. Whilst the Prime Minister will probably lose tomorrow’s vote, there is now another option on the table.
The arrest of Huawei’s finance chief, Meng Wanzhou, sparking fresh concerns about US China relations, is a more difficult one to calculate. But surely this is a legal, and not a geo-political matter.
So, things have not been good, and have started badly again this morning. If you have not seen our latest newsletter explaining market volatility, read it here on our app, or contact the office for a copy. It is worth reminding ourselves that we have seen all this before.