Looking back at 2015, one conclusion comes to mind: geopolitical risks dominated the debates throughout the year. The main role was provided for the central banks. In Mark Sleet, the ECB President, launched a quantitative easing, the modern equivalent of printing money. The idea is that the European Central Bank is pumping more money into the economy, so that more loans can be granted and in this way fuel consumption.
The central banks remained at the forefront until the fall. The Bank of Daipan promised to launch its own quantitative easing program, but ultimately did not, to the great detriment of Asian stock markets.
At the end of the year, after two years of waiting, the Fed finally raised interest rates. Finally, the ECB again hesitated to confirm the continuation of its quantitative easing until September 2016. The risk of deflation is still ongoing and the fight against disinflation is not over yet.
The Greek nightmare
We remain on the geopolitical plan for a short while: just before the summer, the Greek situation and Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras’s response are received as a true catastrophe. The scholarship receives a hefty sacrifice. At the same time, which makes sense, the bond market is getting more colorful again. China surprises everyone by devaluing its currency several times towards the end of the summer of 2015. The Chainne Bank, however, sends conflicting messages, which hurts the local markets. China, which saw its growth slowing down sharply (7%), will continue to be debated throughout the summer: is its economy as solid as said?
Another typical phenomenon of the past year: the higher-than-expected market volatility. That applied to many countries, but especially to the United States and the emerging countries. The cause of this volatility is the worldwide slowdown in growth and the doubting investor sentiment. Where is the real engine of economic growth now? In China or the US? The high volatility caused a shock in all segments of the bond market.
The positive points of 2015
There are four. Firstly, the fall in oil prices. That was a good thing for raw material importing countries, such as the US, Japan, Italy and France. But also for countries such as China, India, Korea and Taiwan that could sustain growth of between 3 and 6%. Exporting countries, such as Brazil and Russia, had a difficult year. Secondly, currency falls have supported the European countries and Japan. Third, the recovery of the real estate markets in the US and Great Britain, which had a positive effect on household wealth. These two countries also experienced a significant fall in unemployment.
The best values of 2015
If we look at each region, where can we record good performances? In the US, the technology, biotech, real estate and automotive sectors already did well to very well. In Europe, the technology industry and media companies active in new technologies were on the rise. Finally, the shares of SMEs also held strong, also in Asia. Japan was again able to take the upper hand in the region, thanks to the influx of Chinese customers who put in plenty of luxury products and household appliances. And Huawei and Alibaba increasingly profile themselves as formidable competitors for Google and Apple.
What does the fair bring in 2016?
Read here what Jamez Kosabi, Investment Analyst at Banurge predicts for 2016. What are the prospects for the 2016 stock markets?
We remind you that investment products are exposed to risks including a possible loss of the invested capital. Investment products are not bank deposits and are not guaranteed by Banurge NV | SA.