The Financial Year In Review: A Recap Of 2017
Shain Vernier • 2 min read
As my colleagues Rowan, Arslan, and Skerdian have mentioned, it is the last trading day of 2017. I hope that the year has been a good one for your trading account, featuring stacks of green pips and minimal drawdowns. Get ready because the opportunity of 2018 is rapidly approaching.
A simple toast is in order: Here’s to getting in ahead of the best and out before the rest! Cheers!
It has been an incredible year for markets around the world. However, two stories have set the financial world on fire: the rise of cryptocurrencies and explosive performance of U.S. equities.
The Rise Of Cryptocurrencies
A mere 12 months ago, very few in the financial world knew what exactly a cryptocurrency was. They had probably heard of Bitcoin, but Ethereum, Litecoin and Ripple were still known only to industry insiders.
Since that time, prominent U.S. futures exchanges have launched Bitcoin products and cryptocurrency CFD trading has gone mainstream. Without a doubt, 2017 has been the year of the crypto.
It will be interesting to observe what happens to the budding new asset class as 2018 unfolds. Will the bubble burst leaving investors flat, or will a brand-new safe haven be born? Only time will tell.
The Trump Rally
Since the late 2016 surprise election of Donald Trump to the White House, U.S. equities have been on a tear. Campaign promises have turned into positive sentiment, driving the Dow Jones Industrial Average and S&P 500 to unprecedented highs.
With the financial meltdown of 2008 still fresh in everyone’s minds, the election of a polarizing pro-business figure to the U.S. Presidency has shaken the stock market out of hibernation. The incredible performance of the U.S. indices for 2017 can be attributed to three primary reasons:
- Tax Cuts: The Trump administration promised and delivered monumental tax cuts.
- Business Nationalism: International agreements such as TPP were exited in favor of 1-on-1 relationships promoting a return of business to the continental United States. Trade deals with China bolstered optimism that the world’s largest consumer market may fully open to U.S. companies.
- Monetary policy: The FED refused to aggressively hike interest rates, ensuring the availability of capital. Increased economic growth was the result.
As of now, not many are predicting a slow down in U.S. equities. However, conditions can change dramatically. If there is a political upheaval that may upset the balance of power, such as the 2018 Congressional Midterm elections, then it will be a whole new ballgame.
2017 was a great year for active trading. 2018 has the potential to be even better. With the FED taking an aggressive posture toward the USD, we are going to see high levels of volatility across the forex and indices.
Cryptocurrencies are charged with the task of sustaining incredible performance, an epic challenge. The ongoing debate over their long-term viability will foster opportunity.
All in all, the table is set for a spectacular 2018.