The final trading session for December and 2019 from the perspective of these reports has come and gone and with it the end of the second decade of the new millennium. Given that very little of note happens in the first few days of a New Year, I thought it might be interesting to see how markets and currencies have fared over the decade.
The decade began with the stock markets still trying to shake off the worst effects of the Global Financial Crisis which started in late 2007. Despite eventually shrugging off the worst recession since the Great Depression, the decade was marked by slow global trade and a trade war between the US and various other nations, most notably China.
On the currency front, the fears of “Grexit” at the start of the decade fuelled the European Sovereign debt crisis and, to all intents and purposes, it closed with the UK’s departure from the most successful trading bloc in the history of the world.
In Europe over the course of the decade, the FTSE was up by 41% at 7644.9, it started at 5412.9; the Dax ended at 13337, up by 124% on the period, starting at 5957.4; the CAC was up by 53% to end the session at 6037.4, it began the decade on 3936.3.
The Dow ended the decade at 28645, making 175% over the ten-year period from a starting value of 10428. The Nasdaq composite index was up by 297% over the course of the decade at 9006.6, it started at 2269.2.
The Nikkei 225 ended the decade up by 126% to end the session at 23838, it started at 10456.
Currency markets review
On the currency markets for the decade, the Dollar was the clear winner – perhaps giving some credence to President Trump’s constant complaints that it is over-priced. The Dollar was stronger against Sterling over the decade at $1.3090 to the Pound, a gain of 22% from a starting rate of $1.6221. The Greenback was stronger against the Euro over the decade by 29% to close at $1.1174 to the Euro, it started at a value of $1.4406.
The Dollar gained against the Japanese currency over the decade, closing at 109.5 Yen to the Dollar, making a gain of 18% on the period, it started out at 92.43 Yen to the Dollar.
The Euro was weaker against the Yen over the period, ending at 122.4 a fall of 6% over the decade from a starting value of 133.2 Yen to the Euro. It was weaker against Sterling over the decade, the close saw one £ buying €1.1714, a rise of 7.3% from an initial value of €1.126.
The Euro now buys 1.0886 CHF, a marginal gain of 0.26% on the decade from a starting value of 1.0857 CHF to the Euro. The Swiss Central Bank has done a very good job at maintaining (broad) stability against the currency of its major trading partner.
Commodities market review
On the commodities market, the price for Brent crude ended at $68.16 per barrel, a fall of 12.5% over the decade from a starting value of $77.9. The value of gold appreciated over the decade closing at $1509.3 per ounce, a rise of 38% over the period, a very modest gain when compared to most of the major markets. It started the decade at a value of $1096 per ounce.