The beginning of the year in markets is all except quiet. After the traditional rally at the end of December, the global market trends are very open: ups and downs in an unstable landscape. There are some reasons that show that risks are increasing, mainly: oil, euro and Greece.
What is happening with the oil price? There is a fight amongst producers, mainly OPEC countries and USA. Americans become the world largest producers thanks to fracking techniques and OPEC countries wants to be still influent and keep their market share. Winners? Consumers, carmakers, chemicals and many industrial sectors. Also general world economy, which will increase a bit more due to the oil price drop. Losers? Oil companies and some weak producers as Russia or Venezuela. Dropping oil prices (-55% since the last peak) are affecting deeply Latam stock exchanges, because apart from Venezuela, other countries as Mexico, Brazil and Argentina are also oil producers.
The other instability front is Europe in two ways: first of all, the euro is falling against other currencies. Above all, the most important exchange, the US dollar, accounts today a drop of 15% since the last peak in May 2014, when it reached $1.39. Yesterday, the doors were more open to a possible monetary quantitative expansion (QE) by the ECB, in the same style as the Federal Reserve did. What does it mean? More euros in the market and a lower exchange. This will be better for exports, but it deepens in the discussion about the ECB role and the risks of buying European debt with money from the Central Bank. However, the Eurozone closed 2014 with a -0.2 % negative inflation and some are afraid of a possible deflation process… or even a similar process as in Japan.
Last risk is Greece, again. An internal political crisis linked to the election of the President of the Republic has led to new elections. Traditional parties (centre-right New Democracy and centre-left Pasok) have governed in coalition last two years. Now, the risk is a new left party, Syriza, which promotes in its political programme the renegotiation of the Greek debt. Who are the main creditors? Germany and other European countries.
In the other side of the world, despite the slowing China, other countries show strength, as India. Yesterday’s Bank of India cutting rate decision boosted the stock exchange and consolidates the perspective of opportunities in the country.
In any case, generally speaking, the unstable landscape because of the above-mentioned reasons opens several doubts about the improvement of the world economic recovery.