It has been a fairly volatile year for the global equity markets and commodity prices. The sharp sell-off in crude oil prices weighed on market sentiment and set a bearish tone across the markets.
Brent front month futures extended sharp declines towards $56 per barrel during the last trading session of the year, while WTI front month futures slid lower towards $52 per barrel. Crude oil prices are heading for their worst year since 2008 due to sluggish oil demand from the US and Asia, while crude oil inventories continue to increase worldwide.
Base metal prices came under renewed pressure today with the exception of Nickel, which managed to finish the year at 15,150. Aluminium extended declines to finish the session at $1852, while copper ended the year at $6,300.
Precious metals remained in negative territory. Gold gave back earlier gains and traded below the key area of $1,200, while silver fell sharply over 1.6% to retest $16.00. Platinum and palladium extended declines today falling between 0.25% and 0.45%.
It has been a fairly volatile year for the European equity markets, while the latest political uncertainty in Greece with the upcoming elections on 25th January 2015 triggered renewed concerns regarding the future of Eurozone and added further pressure to the euro which fell towards 1.21 against the dollar today from a high of 1.3934 in mid-March 2014.
Overall, we believe the recent downtrend could continue in the global equity and commodity markets in the 1st quarter of 2015 as mixed macroeconomic indicators from the US, Asia and Eurozone as well as limited risk appetite could continue to dominate the markets.
We wish you a Happy and Prosperous New Year!