United States

Investors weigh shifting policy, interest rates and foreign exchange


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A weakening U.S. dollar benefitted most international markets, particularly emerging markets which delivered strong returns. In Brazil, a continued recovery in commodities, excluding energy, was also a net positive. Policy expectations, shifting interest rates and foreign exchange movements will all be important factors going forward in addition to local growth expectations.

Greece lagged the rest of the euro area as a bailout review was postponed following differences between the IMF assessment and that of Greeceā€™s Eurozone creditors on the status of their debt and loan restructuring. Upcoming elections in the Netherlands, France, Germany and Italy are being closely watched for developments with regards to policy and Eurozone relations. In addition, Prime Minister Theresa May is expected to trigger Article 50 in March of this year.

In China, stocks started the year strong on the expectation of a more stabilized economy and stronger than expected GDP growth. China has released plans to relax restrictions on foreign investment allowing overseas companies to list on domestic markets.

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