How 2022 shocked, rocked and rolled global markets
- World stocks down 20% in worst year since financial crisis.
- Wild swings in commodity and FX due to rate rises and war.
- Crypto crashes and defaults have added to volatility.
LONDON: Trillions of dollars wiped off world stocks, bond market tantrums, whip-sawing currency and commodities and the collapse of a few crypto empires — 2022 has been perhaps the most turbulent year investors have ever seen, and for good reason.
Tallying the final numbers is useful but doesn’t even come close to telling the whole story.
Yes, global equities are down $14 trillion and heading for their second worst year on record, but there have been nearly 300 interest rate hikes and a trio of 10%-plus rallies in that time making the volatility freakish.
The main drivers have been the war in Ukraine, combined with rampant inflation as global economies broke out of the pandemic, but China remained shackled by it.
US Treasuries and German bonds, the benchmarks of global borrowing markets and traditional go-to assets in troubled times, lost 16% and 24% respectively in dollar terms.
DoubleLine Capital’s Jeffery Gundlach, dubbed the ‘Bond King’ in the markets, says conditions got so ugly at points that his team found it almost impossible to trade for days at a time.
“There has been a buyer’s strike,” he said. “And understandably so because prices have just been going down until recently.”
Drama kicked in as soon as it became clear that COVID was not going to shutter the global economy again and the world’s most influential central bank, the US Federal Reserve, was serious about raising interest rates.
Ten-year Treasury yields jumped to 1.8% from less than 1.5%, knocking 5% off MSCI’s world stocks index in January alone.
That yield is now at 3.68%, stocks are down 20% while oil prices surged 80% before giving it all up. The Fed has delivered 400bps of hikes and the European Central Bank a record 250bps, despite saying this time last year it was unlikely to budge.
The dollar this week gave the yen a lift.
In emerging markets, Turkey’s inflation and monetary policy problems have cost the lira another 28%, but its stock market is the best performer in the world.
Hard-pressed Egypt devalued its currency more than 36%. Ghana’s cedi crashed 60% as it has joined Sri Lanka in default. Despite being well down from its June highs, Russia’s rouble is still the world’s second-best performing currency supported by Moscow’s capital controls. It was initially smashed after the invasion of Ukraine.
“If you ask me what will happen next year I really couldn’t tell you,” said Close Brothers Asset Management’s Chief Investment Officer Robert Alster, who, like many, also pointed to the pummeling the pound and British bond markets took when the short-lived government of Liz Truss flirted with an unfunded spending splurge.
Ten-year gilt yields soared over 100 bps and the pound lost 9% in a matter of days — moves the scale of which are rare in major markets.
“If you sell it wrong, don’t be surprised if it goes down like a cup of cold sick,” said veteran CMC Markets’ analyst Michael Hewson.
The surge in rates has also taken $3.6 trillion off the tech titans. Facebook and Tesla have both hemorrhaged more than 60% while Alphabet’s Google and Amazon are respectively down 40% and 50%.
Chinese stocks have staged a late rally thanks to signs that its zero-COVID policy’s days are numbered but they are still down 25% and emerging market ‘hard currency’ government debt will notch its first ever back-to-back loss.
Initial public offerings and bond sales have also slumped almost everywhere apart from the Middle East, while commodities have been the best-performing asset class for a second consecutive year.
Natural gas’ more than 50% rise is the best overall in that group, albeit largely due to the war in Ukraine which had hoisted prices 140% at one point.
Mounting recession worries along with the West’s plan to stop buying Russian oil mean Brent has given back the entire 80% it made in the first quarter, as have wheat and corn.
The cryptomarket has been even more chaotic. Bitcoin ends 2022 robbed of its cocktail of cheap money and leveraged bets.
The pre-eminent cryptocurrency has lost 60% of its value, while the wider crypto market has shrunk by $1.4 trillion, squashed by the collapse of Sam Bankman-Fried’s FTX empire, Celsius and supposed ‘stablecoins’ terraUSD and Luna.
“What has gone in global markets this year has been traumatic,” said EFG Bank Chief Economist and ex-Deputy Governor of Ireland’s central bank, Stefan Gerlach.
“But if central banks hadn’t underestimated the rise in inflation so dramatically and had to jack up interest rates, it wouldn’t have been so catastrophic”.
Gold rate declines for second consecutive day
- Rate of gold reaches Rs232,800 per tola.
- International rate up by $11 per ounce.
- The silver price remains unchanged.
Despite an increase in the international rate, gold’s value declined in Pakistan for the second consecutive day Tuesday.
Data provided by the All Pakistan Sarafa Gems and Jewellers Association (APSGJA) showed the price of gold (24 carats) decreased by Rs1,700 per tola and Rs1,458 per 10 grams to reach Rs232,800 and Rs199,588, respectively.
The gold rate cumulatively lost Rs1,100 per tola last week, and a further Rs1,700 on the opening day this week.
Meanwhile, the international price went up $11 to settle at $1,956 per ounce.
The safe-haven bullion’s value has remained volatile in the international market recently. However, it bounced back from its lowest level in over two months Tuesday after the US dollar’s value declined from a high and investors remained anxious about negotiations on the US debt ceiling.
If the debt ceiling — which is currently capped at $31.4 trillion — is not raised in the next few days, it would trigger the first-ever US default.
Investors also remained wary about a possible hike in the interest rate, which would negatively affect gold’s value.
Meanwhile, the gold rate has been volatile in Pakistan recently amid continued political and economic uncertainty, high inflation, and currency depreciation. People prefer to buy the yellow metal in such times as a safe investment and a hedge.
The rupee gained Re0.07 or 0.02% against the US dollar in the interbank market Tuesday, closing at Rs285.35, according to State Bank of Pakistan data.
Data shared by the jeweller’s body showed that the rate of silver remained unchanged at Rs2,850 per tola and Rs2,443.41 per 20 grams, respectively.
France launching electric car battery factory to dent Chinese dominance
Under a plan of reindustrialisation by President Emmanuel Macron, France is to inaugurate a factory for manufacturing batteries for electric cars Tuesday in Billy-Berclau — the first of its kind — challenging the Chinese dominance in the industry, according to an AFP report.
Battery industry buildup is a component of the plan by Macron with a clutch of factories set to emerge in the north of the country over the next three years.
The “gigafactory” is owned by Automotive Cells Company, a partnership between French energy giant TotalEnergies, Germany’s Mercedes-Benz and US-European automaker Stellantis, which produces a range of brands including Peugeot, Fiat and Chrysler.
The inauguration will be attended by French Economy Minister Bruno Le Maire and the country’s energy transition and industry ministers along with German and Italian officials.
The heads of Mercedes, Stellantis and TotalEnergies will also be at the event.
The factory is as large as football pitches in which production will commence this summer.
Elected officials and business leaders intend to turn the Hauts-de-France region into “Battery Valley” — the electric car industry’s answer to Silicon Valley.
AESC-Envision — a Sino-Japanese group — is building a plant near the city of Douai which will supply French automaker Renault from early 2025.
French startup Verkor is scheduled to begin production at a facility in Dunkirk from mid-2025 while Taiwan’s ProLogium has also chosen the coastal city for its first European factory, with output to start in 2026.
Competition between US and China
As European Union (EU) has marked a deadline of 2035 to phase out fossil fuel-run cars, the countries are racing to step up the production of batteries and electric vehicles to meet the target of electric vehicles within the deadline.
In recent years, around 50 battery factory projects have been announced in the EU and the French government has set a target of producing two million electric vehicles per year by 2030, as per the economy ministry.
The ministry said that “the ACC plant will supply 500,000 vehicles per year by then.”
China is the world leader in electric car battery production and also dominates the production of the raw materials needed to make them.
Europe also faces stiff competition from the United States, which is heavily subsidising the sector through the Inflation Reduction Act, which includes $370 billion in clean energy incentives.
Govt mulls slashing duty on mobile phones in budget
ISLAMABAD: The Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) is mulling options to reduce the duty on mobile phones in the federal budget for the fiscal year 2023-24 — which is expected to be unveiled on June 9 — keeping in view the suggestions of Pakistan Mobile Phone Traders, The News reported Monday.
Previously, the government was obliged to raise the duty on mobile phones by 100% to 150%, and resultantly, only Rs5 billion to Rs10 billion were being deposited in the national exchequer instead of Rs85 billion.
The number of mobile phone users in Pakistan has exceeded 186.9 million.
In order to cope with the financial crisis of the current financial year, in the new budget, a proposal for a conspicuous reduction in the rates of duties on cellular phones is under consideration, which is about 100% to 150% at present on small and big mobile phones.
The mobile industry is on the brink of collapse due to an increase in taxes. It not only affected traders but also made the life of millions of people difficult to earn a livelihood.
It has been learnt that a delegation of the Mobile Phones Traders Association has given recommendations to Finance Minister Ishaq Dar and other senior officials.
The delegation ensured that efforts would be made to include the recommendations in the budget. These proposals and recommendations are being reviewed to make them a part of the new budget.
It has been learnt that a 75% duty was imposed on cellular phones in Pakistan as compared to other countries of the region like Singapore, Bangladesh and Turkey where it is not at that level. That is the reason people are using smartphones without paying duties in connivance with FBR.
The additional 100% to 150% duty on cell phones has made it out of reach of the poor, labourers, daily wagers, students, professionals, the lawyer community, and civil society.
All Pakistan Mobile Phones Traders Association General Secretary Munir Beg Mirza said that due to the ban on the import of used mobile phones, smuggling has increased to give favour to a few companies.
Also, people are using smartphones illegally without paying heavy taxes to enjoy all functions of smartphones, which is inflicting a loss on the national kitty.
He said that not only every consumer would pay tax but also the government would get Rs100 billion instead of Rs5 billion on phones if an appropriate duty was imposed in the new financial year.
‘Acute food insecurity to rise in Pakistan over next six months’
May 9 arsonists also attacked police on March 8 outside Zaman Park: Mohsin Naqvi
PTI’s Shehryar Afridi re-arrested upon release from Adiala jail
Barwaan Khiladi: Kinza Hashmi discusses her role as Alia
Snap launches tools for parents to monitor teens’ contacts
WATCH: Pakistani traveller deported from Dubai for damaging plane mid-air
Learn First | How to Create Amazon Seller Account in Pakistan – Step by Step
Sajjad Jani Funny Mushaira | Funny Poetry On Cars🚗 | Funny Videos | Sajjad Jani Official Team
Pakistan Reaction On Huge Win Against India | Pakistani Celebs Celebrate World T20 Cricket
Tech1 day ago
WhatsApp brings two new updates for users
Tech1 day ago
Study reveals how an ancient beast failed to survive millions of years ago
Pakistan1 day ago
Punjab polls case hearing adjourned indefinitely after suo motu review law ‘comes into effect’
Business1 day ago
Govt mulls slashing duty on mobile phones in budget
Business1 day ago
Pakistan agrees to share budget details with IMF to unlock stalled programme
Politics1 day ago
Imran Khan fact-checked
Pakistan1 day ago
Pakistani surgeon sets world record in robotic surgery for women
Uncategorized1 day ago
Punjab forms committee to probe PTI allegations of women prisoners’ mistreatment