- Stocks to commodities punished in volatile third quarter
- Analysts cut 2015 growth forecasts as turmoil escalates
For investors around the world, 2015 is turning into a year to forget. Stocks, commodities and currency funds are all in the red, and even the measly gains in bonds are being wiped out by what little inflation there is in the global economy.
Rounding out its steepest quarterly descent in four years, the MSCI All Country World Index of shares is down 6.6 percent in 2015 including dividends. TheBloomberg Commodity Index has slumped 16 percent, while a Parker Global Strategies LLC index of currency funds dropped 1.8 percent. Fixed income has failed to offer much of a haven: Bank of America Corp.’s global debt index gained just 1 percent, less than the 2.5 percent increase in world consumer prices shown in an International Monetary Fund index.
After three years in a virtuous cycle of rising share prices and unprecedented monetary easing, markets are now sinking as emerging economies from China to Brazil weaken and corporate profits slump. Analysts have cut their global growth estimates for 2015 to 3 percent from 3.5 percent at the start of the year, and the turmoil has added pressure on central banks to prolong their stimulus programs, with traders scaling back forecasts for a Federal Reserve interest-rate increase by year-end.
“There was an element of people believing they had found some sort of holy grail to investing, then this breakdown occurs and it breaks down in a way that’s remarkable,” said Tobias Levkovich, Citigroup Inc.’s chief U.S. equity strategist. “What seemed to trigger this all was China. It sent us on a wave of downward fears.”
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