Building up capital

2 January 2019

What's new in the financial markets?

Thierry Masset

Chief Investment Officer ING Belgium

Thierry Masset, Chief Investment Officer reviews the economic and financial news. Every month, he analyses events that have impacted the financial markets. The context of any potential stock market fluctuations is equally scrutinized. You can find this market analysis and ING's investment strategy by consulting our "Monthly Market Review".

2018 has been the hardest year to invest since the early 1970s
  • 2018 started with hopes of strong and coordinated global growth. 2019 will not. Advanced economies are set to slow, with a divergence between the U.S. and the rest. Some Emerging Markets face recession – fallout from 2018 currency crises. 
  • Key uncertainties are the trajectory for Federal Reserve tightening and its impact on Emerging Markets, the intensity of U.S.-China trade wars, and the economics – and politics – of tighter conditions in the euro zone. 
  • The year ahead probably won’t bring the end of the cycle, but risks are growing and new sources of fuel are needed.
  • As investors are progressively pricing in the fear of potential de-globalization, lower economic and profit growth and modest single-digit absolute stock return next year, the flight to quality will probably continue next year.
open umbrella

“If we put markets into five big asset classes — bonds, stocks, real estate, commodities and cash —, not a single one of them is on track to post a return of more than 3% in euro, a phenomenon last observed in 1972. That is all but unique in history. Normally when something falls, something else gains. Amid the financial catastrophe of 2008, Treasuries rallied. In 1974, commodities were a bright spot. In 2002, it was real estate. In 2018, there was nearly nowhere to run and to protect against evaporating central bank stimulus.”

Read the full "Monthly Market Review" .

Want to know more?
Discover our previous issues :
Date Title Link

November 2018

The corporate earnings growth may be peaking

October 2018

It is not « La Dolce Vita » on the financial markets

September 2018

Volatility is set for a comeback

August 2018

Equity markets

July 2018

A disastrous G7 summit

June 2018

Cycle is maturing but not ending

May 2018

Markets struggle on geopolitics

April 2018

9-year-old bull market is not dead

March 2018

Earnings boom means equity optimism makes senses

February 2018

A "gradual approach" to raising interest rates

January 2018

Resynchronization of global growth