The year 2017 closes out as a banner year for stock markets around the world as well as strong performance from other asset classes. Looking back on some of the highlighted events were developments on Brexit negotiations, central bank actions, crypto currency fever, tensions with North Korea, Catalonia’s declaration, the future of U.S. trade, oil supply and OPEC intervention, tax overhaul, new Federal Reserve leadership and this theme of global synchronized growth as main catalysts to market rallies. More data will become available at the beginning of 2018 for investors to mull over once returning from an extended weekend and two consecutive weeks of shortened trading.
The best annual gain since 2013 occurred for domestic large cap stocks just after slipping on the final trading day of the year, and international equities, both developed and emerging markets, enjoyed a substantial decline in the U.S. dollar to boost their overall market performance and finally outpace domestic returns. A taper approach toward monetary stimulus withdrawal in major economies has been a positive for global equities but negative for the dollar. Nevertheless, it was a year of records for several market indices across the globe. Treasury yields, on the back of three rate increases by the Federal Reserve, maintained a flattening story throughout the year.
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