The Way We Were
2022 was a very difficult year for the global financial markets. Both North American stock and bond markets suffered double-digit negative returns. As measured by the Nasdaq Index, technology stocks fared the worst, ending the year down over 30%. In Canada, the average return for a Canadian balanced fund was a loss
The Looming European Natural Gas Crisis
The Russian invasion of Ukraine has amplified energy security concerns, particularly in European Union (EU) nations. The EU has historically relied on Russia for over 40% of their natural gas consumption. With Russia restricting natural gas flows to the EU, the EU has been forced to look elsewhere for alternative supplies. Securing
The Dollar Safe Haven
The recent strength of the U.S. dollar highlights the extraordinary flight-to-safety of international investors following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February 2022. Since the invasion, the euro has declined 11% – a 20-year low. The British pound has fallen 14% – an astounding 37-year low. The Japanese yen, another major currency, has
The first-half of 2022 proved to be a challenging time for global financial markets. High inflation, rising interest rates, the ongoing conflict in Ukraine and persistent supply-chain challenges have acted as a myriad of headwinds for financial markets. Notable indexes for both risky assets (stocks) and less-risky assets (bonds) have suffered double-digit losses since the start of the year. On a relative basis, client portfolios have performed well and have continued to protect capital during the market weakness.
The Geopolitical Divide
The events of February 24, 2022 shocked the world as Russia launched a large-scale military offensive in Ukraine. The U.S. and its allies responded with sweeping sanctions and boycotts to hamper the Russian economy. They have stopped short of engaging in a direct conflict with Russia at the risk of further escalation. While a resolution may be on the horizon, the impacts of the conflict have been wide-ranging across industries and felt globally. Humanitarian crises are arising in neighbouring countries as almost 4 million refugees have fled Ukraine while commodity shortages from export restrictions have ripped through global supply chains.