Saturday, 16 January 2016

Markets fall as 2016 turning into year of the bear

Global markets resumed their selloff on Friday.

The S&P 500 fell 2.2 percent, paring an earlier loss of as much as 3.3 percent but still leaving it with a third weekly retreat.

The STOXX Europe 600 fell 2.8 percent. It is down more than 20 percent from its record high in April, confirming a bear market.

The Shanghai Composite Index is also in a bear market, plunging 3.6 percent on Friday to extend its decline from its December high to more than 20 percent.

Oil also plunged. West Texas Intermediate crude lost 5.7 percent while Brent fell 5.9 percent.

The US 10-year Treasury yield fell 10 basis points to 1.99 percent.

A Bloomberg report says that 2016 is looking like the year of the bear, with China and oil the triggers of the upheaval.

“It comes down to one basic fear, which is the global economy,” said Russ Koesterich, global chief investment strategist for BlackRock Inc.

Still, some seem relatively sanguine about market and economic prospects.

“I’m not panicked. I don’t think this is a financial crisis,” said Jack Ablin, chief investment officer for BMO Private Bank.

“A good earnings season could turn things around here,” said Brian Jacobsen, chief portfolio strategist with Wells Fargo Funds Management LLC.

JPMorgan Chase & Co. Chief Executive Officer Jamie Dimon said on a call with analysts on Thursday that the US economy “looks pretty good at this point”.

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