Market Performance YTD: Sharp Moves Across all Asset Classes

Market volatility is up sharply this year as the markets are reeling from the coronavirus breakout. As seen in the selection of markets below, all asset classes with ATFX UK experienced high volatility. Whereas there is typically one or two busy asset classes each year, this year is offering opportunities and risks to everyone.  

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  • Crude oil prices were on March 24, down 60% on the year, and investors try to figure out if it will bounce back as the coronavirus spread abates or will crude oil prices remain soft as Saudi Arabia pumps up more oil. Both bulls and bears have seen double-digit gains and losses within one week. 
  • The Dow Jones and DAX index has also seen sharp moves, and most of them have been bearish, yet you still had strong counter moves of more than 10% as central banks and governments cut rates and added fiscal stimulus. The Dow Jones was down by 32%, while the DAX index was down by 30% on the year. 
  • Cryptocurrencies such as Ripple and Bitcoin saw some sharp moves with Ripple up by 84% on the year by February, just to crash by 66% from its 2020 high. 
  • Currencies tend to move less compared with other markets, yet the usage of leverage is more common in the Forex markets, so when the AUDUSD is down by 16% on the year, then that is a very large move. Other notable market movers are USDCAD and NZDUSD pairs, with the former being up by 12%, and the latter being down by 14%.  The CAD came under pressure as crude oil prices tumbled while the AUD and NZD have, with their extensive business links to China and Far-East, seen massive losses. 

Time will tell what is next with the coronavirus, but by March 23, the daily percentage growth rate of cases in Italy and Germany was slowing while they were picking up in the USA. In China, people were allowed to leave their homes and return to work. However, it still not clear what will happen in the next few weeks in China, and the coronavirus could be dormant, causing another leg in the spread.

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