Quarterly markets review - Q4 2014
An overview of markets in Q4 2014
- Global equities delivered positive returns in a volatile quarter. The Federal Reserve (Fed) ended its quantitative easing programme but other central banks continued to ease monetary policy. Oil prices fell further, particularly after Opec elected not to cut output.
- The S&P 500 performed well despite some concerns over interest rate rises. Equities were supported by hopes that the lower oil price would help sustain the consumer-led recovery.
- Eurozone equity returns were virtually flat. Macroeconomic news remained downbeat with disappointing news from Germany’s industrial sector early in the quarter. The weak data fuelled hopes that the European Central Bank could soon start buying sovereign bonds.
- Japanese equities gained after further monetary policy easing from the central bank sent the yen lower. Prime Minister Abe called snap elections, which were won by his party, and delayed another consumption tax increase.
- Emerging markets posted negative returns. Russia was particularly weak amid deteriorating economic data, the falling oil price and pressure on the rouble. An interest rate cut supported Chinese equities.