The recovery in profits by Japanese export firms should continue to attract the attention of the markets in the first half of 2015.
The MSCI Asia Pacific ex-Japan gained 3.71% but underperformed the MSCI World which gained 6.43% in SGD terms. The MSCI World’s strong performance was attributable to the supportive external backdrop with improving economic indicators out of Europe.
Through 2014, one of the largest asset classes in the world was virtually unnoticed as an indicator that Europe is not pushing the global economy into widespread deflation.
Asia Pacific ex-Japan markets outperformed its global peers, registering a return of 3.8% in SGD terms as compared to the MSCI World index which gained only 0.4% in SGD terms, primarily due to the stronger Greater China region and Indian markets which were the best performing markets in January.
Asia Pacific ex-Japan markets did better than other emerging markets, posting a negative return of 2.1% in USD terms as compared to the latter which returned -4.6% in USD terms as it was dragged down by Russia.
Clearly, oil prices have fallen further than nearly everyone anticipated. When our Global Investment Committee met in December, Brent was trading at $66.
Supply-side shocks and market distortions have created a degree of uncertainty over the short to medium-term outlook for the New Zealand dairy industry.
The investment world is changing quickly and 2015 should prove to be a very interesting year, but we see no reason to change our long-held positive view on global equities.
China's economy likely slowed much more than the official statistics show; otherwise, the government would not have reversed course on its various crackdowns, especially on the property market.
Asia Pacific ex-Japan markets were volatile in November, with the MSCI Asia Pacific ex-Japan Index down 1.3%, dragged down by MSCI Australia Index which returned -6.3% in USD terms.