Especially at the turn of the year, Bill Murray likes to flicker across our living room screens in "Groundhog Day". Caught in a time warp, the film's hero relives the same day over and over again. Many market observers are likely to feel something similar now. They were just hoping for an endemic end to the pandemic, but the renewed fear of Corona from China is already spilling over to us again. Disrupted supply chains, higher inflation and lower economic growth: the issues are well known, as are the reactions on the financial markets.
December thus closes the most grueling year for stocks since the great financial market crisis and the bond year with the most losses since 1990 (Illustr. 1). The S&P 500 fell -5.9%, the Euro Stoxx 50 -4.3% and the Nasdaq tech exchange -9.1%. Only the Chinese CSI 300 reported a positive exception to the global downward trend and rose slightly by +0.5% (all indices in local currency).
YTD returns in % (stock and bond markets)
|EURO STOXX 50||-4.32||-11.74|
|€ Gvt. Bond 7-10 yr||-5.09||-20.07|
|$ Treasury Bond 7-10yr (USD)||-1.40||-15.12|
|iBoxx EUR Corp Bond||-1.22||-15.59|
|US Corp 5-7yr (USD)||-0.16||-11.17|
|Source: Morningstar, Bloomberg, 12/31/2022 / * ETFs|
Despite the apparently uncontrolled corona outbreak in China, our Chinese investments in Alibaba and Baidu proved to be robust and, alongside pharmaceutical stocks such as Novo Nordisk, made a positive contribution to performance. However, tech companies and disruptors such as Google, Apple, Lemonade and Upstart were not in demand and suffered losses. An initial investment in PayPal was done in December, existing positions in Alibaba, Baidu, ASML, Tradedesk, Vodafone, Kinsale, LVMH, Thermo Fisher and Visa were slightly increased from favourable levels. In return, we sold all commodities (CMCI ex-Agric. ETF) and partially our gold investment. The bond portfolio made a negative contribution due to the prevailing risk aversion, although some previously penalized issuers - for example from the US chemicals and real estate sector - were able to recover. The fund allocation is currently 54.7% equities, 39.1% bonds (including 6% short-dated US Treasuries and 2.7% CAT bonds), 2.3% gold/commodities/CO2 emission rights and 3.9% cash.
Even if the nervousness and the associated volatility on the financial markets is likely to persist at the beginning of the year, the first signs of a waning inflation panic are noticeable. We will react to a sustained stabilization of the stock exchanges with selective investments.
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