It wasn’t a particularly smooth exit to the year for markets; the Pound peaked and troughed on Brexit optimism and disappointment, interest rate hikes came in the UK and US and still markets were unsatiated, some commodities experienced price fluctuations and showed signs of disruption in the months that lie ahead, and politics the world over caused multi-month highs and lows.
As we look towards what 2018 may hold, the countdown for Brexit is on, with just over a year before the UK will officially part ways with the EU. Tensions are high in the world of UK politics and Theresa May has attempted a Cabinet reshuffle to help strengthen her position as she tries to bargain her way out of the EU with a deal that will appease the masses. However, the clumsy handling of the affair has exposed weaknesses and could cause more problems for the PM. The Eurozone has also seen some disruption with a new Italian election ahead, German coalition talks, and a shaky situation in Catalonia.
Meanwhile, Trump may have finally succeeded in getting his tax reform through, but with the FBI sniffing around in relation to his supposed Russian links, on and off tensions with North Korea and Kim Jong Un, and plenty of objection for his formal visit to the UK, there’s a lot of reasons to watch this space.
It doesn’t stop there either – Eurasia Group has warned that 2018 could be the year the world sees a geopolitical crisis similar to the magnitude of the 2008 Global Financial Crisis (GFC). The political risk consultancy based in New York has suggested: ‘If we had to pick one year for a big unexpected crisis—the geopolitical equivalent of the 2008 financial meltdown—it feels like 2018.’ There’s a lot riding on the year ahead, and choppy trading is expected, but with so much to organise and so little time, what will Brexit really look like for the people of the UK, and will growth be able to continue with all the upheaval? Not to mention, how will the rest of global politics fare, and what could that mean for markets?
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