As the curtain came down on 2018 it will go down in history as a year investors will want to quickly forget. What started off with much promise and exuberance in equity markets rapidly dissipated by the final quarter, ending the year at significantly lower levels than at the start. The result was global markets slumping to their worst annual return in more than 7 years. Even a belated ‘Santa rally’ on Boxing Day proved short lived as daily gains of over 5% in US equities quickly evaporated before December was out.
The market pull back was largely driven by two ongoing themes. Firstly the end and reversal of loose monetary policy combined with how quickly the Federal Reserve was going to raise interest rates and secondly, the prospect of a slower global economy, exacerbated by trade battles between US and China.
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