December market update – markets ended 2018 in negative territory

December market update – markets ended 2018 in negative territory

Chris Godding
Published: 11 Jan 2019 Updated: 13 Jun 2022

Markets ended 2018 in negative territory with global growth fears and geopolitical uncertainty weighing on investor sentiment. Global equities were the notable underperformers in December, highlighting the risk-off environment, with Santa failing to deliver a much needed seasonal rally for investors to end what was a volatile year overall.

What happened in the markets?

  • Unsurprisingly in local currency and total return terms, it was the more defensive parts of the market that outperformed, such as government bonds and gold
  • US and Japanese equities were amongst the worst performing asset classes against a stronger yen and a more challenging outlook for growth and trade
  • Brexit uncertainty continued to dominate investor sentiment in the UK and the headlines ahead of March’s deadline, while signals of slowing growth in the Eurozone and a range of political issues across the continent weighed on European equity markets

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This article was previously published on Tilney prior to the launch of Evelyn Partners.