A challenging year for investment markets sums up the first six months of 2022. Several economic roadblocks have reversed both the positive sentiment and positive trend equity markets experienced in 2021. That said, within every episode of stock market turbulence lies a bedrock of opportunity.
Investment markets have been volatile in the first quarter of 2022. Rising interest rates, rising inflation and the Russia-Ukraine geopolitical uncertainty have been weighing on markets.
Investment markets performed very well through 2021. The fourth quarter was no exception, with the Canadian equity market up approximately 6% and the U.S. equity market up approximately 11%. North American bond markets however paled in comparison, as interest rates moved higher putting downward pressure on bond prices.
Investment markets have performed well through the first three quarters of 2021. However, September observed increased volatility and a modest downtrend for equity markets. Signs of decelerating economic growth, worries of persistent inflation, COVID-19 delta variant concerns and the possibility of tightening financial conditions are weighing on the minds of market participants. Nevertheless, the economy continues to grow, and opportunities remain.
The first two quarters of 2021 have been very positive for investment markets around the world. Economic data continues to surprise on the upside.
What a difference a year can make. The month of March marks the one-year anniversary since the COVID-19 pandemic infiltrated our world, causing a global economic lockdown.
In years to come, when people look back on 2020 it will be remembered as one of the most challenging years in the modern era.
It is hard to imagine that we are now three quarters of the way through 2020. In one breath, it feels like just yesterday that society and the global economy were being forced into lockdown. At the same time, it seems as though a decade’s worth of developments have come to pass this year.
The first half of 2020 has been a rollercoaster on several fronts. At the beginning of the year, the COVID-19 virus was widely viewed as a minor medical and sociological threat. However, on March 11th it was declared a global pandemic by the World Health Organization which led to a halting of the global economy, outside of essential services.
The year that was 2019, from a global capital markets perspective, could be characterized as one dominated by geo-political headlines. The U.S.-China trade war, Brexit uncertainty, the Canadian Federal Election and active central banks are among the list of major events that carried us through the calendar year.
In past years, investors often enjoyed a relatively quiet summer with less frequent economic and political headlines. Those times appear to be a thing of the past, as the laundry list of developments continues to grow as we progress through 2019.
The first half of 2019 has been positive from a capital markets perspective, especially when considering the broader political and economic context. The global economy continues to grapple with several geo-political and trade related challenges, while the U.S. economy progresses closer to the end of a secular expansionary cycle.
The transition from calendar 2018 to 2019, from a capital markets perspective, has been an eventful one. The theme of heightened market volatility experienced over the last eighteen months remained prevalent as the baton was passed from one year to the next.