While investors had many reasons to be fearful at the start of 2013 with the backdrop of the US fiscal cliff, Eurozone debt crisis and a China slowdown, sharemarkets delivered some of the best investment returns in years.
Looking towards 2014, the US Federal Reserve has all but declared its hand for 2014 by continuing a slow and steady tapering of monetary stimulus. The only shock has been the size of the depreciation in emerging market currencies.
In first world economies, a combination of low global inflation and low interest rates has allowed investment confidence to remain positive.
The housing recovery in Australia combined with strong sharemarket returns from 2013 provide a solid foundation for investors and the corporate sector heading into 2014.
As well as reviewing last year’s performance, this February Snapshot also looks at what to expect from the world’s major markets in 2014.