26 Dec Outlook 2018: 2017 Was A Challenging Year, What Will Next Year Hold?
2017 can definitely be considered as one crazy, yet interesting year… from North Korea’s missile testing; The ANC’s newly elected President Cyril Ramaphosa; the re-emergence of global populism which this past year included Donald Trump’s first year as president of the US; the UK’s continuing, muddled Brexit negotiations; the ascent of Catalan separatism and recent Euroskeptic election victories such as Sebastian Kurz’s People’s Party in Austria, not to mention the weak outlook for a variety of nationalist-leaning parties in South and Central America—but global markets remained exuberant, with US markets at the forefront, though shares in South Korea(up 20.4% YTD), Brazil (+24.8% YTD) and Hong Kong (+34.4%) outpaced US gains (19.8% for the S&P). The best performing index this year however was Vietnam’s Hanoi 30, up a whopping 50.5% on the year so far.
At the beginning of 2017 many wondered if the Dow Jones Industrial Average, which started the year at 19872.86, would hit 20K. As of the Friday before Christmas it closed at 24,754.06—25.2% higher on the year and 23.7% above that 20K ‘fantasy.’ Oh, and during the course of 2017 so far it’s hit over 70 new record highs, the most record closes for a year ever, surpassing the previous record of 69, made in 1995.