January in Figures

January 30, 2015

2014 got off to an extraordinarily volatile start in the marketplace, with huge declines in long-term interest rates, big gains in the yen and dollar, wide swings in equities not all in the same direction, a 9.4% drop in oil prices, and a recovery of 8.0% in the price of gold.

The month saw huge surprises from the Swiss National Bank, which abruptly abandoned a 3-year-long policy of preventing the franc from appreciating beyond 1.2000 per euro, and the Central Bank of Russia, which today cut its interest rate by 200 basis points after raising such by 900 basis points combined in November and December.

The global economy is struggling to return to a pre-2007 sense of normalcy, which would involve huge but unsynchronized monetary policy changes along the way.  In this continuing transition, central bank news has become the story rather than a neutral player reacting appropriately to the story, and the chronology of January 2015 raised doubts about whether the process of policy normalization is in fact an achievable mission.  The Second World War provided that bridge to get past the Great Depression, but no imaginable catalyst of that sort is appearing to play a similar role now.

10-Yr Yield 12/31/14 01/30/15 Chg vs End-2014
U.S. 2.07% 1.64% -43 Basis Points
Germany 0.54% 0.30% -24
Japan 0.31% 0.27% -4
U.K. 1.75% 1.33% -42
Canada 1.79% 1.35% -44
Switzerland 0.29% -0.11% -40
3-month rates     Chg vs End-2014
U.S. 0.26% 0.26% 0 Basis Points
Euroland 0.06% 0.03% -3
Japan 0.11% 0.10% -1
U.K. 0.56% 0.56% 0
Swiss -0.06% -0.85% -79
FX     Pct Chg in USD
EUR/USD 1.2099 1.1300 +7.1%
USD/JPY 119.70 117.41 -1.9%
USD/CHF 0.9942 0.9183 -7.6%
GBP/USD 1.5579 1.5062 +3.4%
AUD/USD 0.8168 0.7785 +4.9%
NZD/USD 0.7796 0.7277 +7.1%
USD/CAD 1.1620 1.2710 +9.4%
USD/CNY 6.2020 6.2500 +0.8%
Equities     Chg vs End-2014
S&P 500 2059 1995 -3.1%
Nasdaq 4736 4635 -2.1%
Djia 17823 17165 -3.7%
Dax 9806 10694 +9.1%
Nikkei 17451 17674 +1.3%
Ftse 6566 6749 +2.8%
Canada TSE 14632 14673 +0.3%
Swiss SMI 8983 8385 -6.7%
Commodities     Chg vs End-2014
Oil, $ per barrel 53.27 48.24 -9.4%
Gold, $ per ounce 1183.90 1278.30 +8.0%

Copyright Larry Greenberg 2015.  All rights reserved.  No secondary distribution without express permission.

Tags: , , , ,

ShareThis

Comments are closed.

css.php