Don't look back in anger: 10 market milestones of 2015

Tue Dec 8, 2015 9:44am EST
 
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By Jamie McGeever

LONDON (Reuters) - From the Swiss franc's record rise in January to the near certainty of a historic U.S. interest rate hike in December, 2015 was a far more volatile year for financial markets than most predicted 12 months ago.

Bond yields across Europe plunged well below zero, the Dow Jones fell 1,000 points in one day in August and turmoil in Chinese stocks turned a downturn across emerging markets into a rout. No fewer than 43 central banks eased policy.

While the direction of these moves may have surprised few observers, the scale, speed and depth caught most off guard. This suggests a high degree of complacency permeated markets throughout the year, although a lack of liquidity was often blamed.

Below are 10 key market milestones that defined the year.

1. SWISS FRANC ROLL

On January 15, the Swiss National Bank stunned markets by scrapping its three-year old cap on the franc at 1.20 per euro. The franc soared as much as 40 percent, with the euro hitting a record low of 0.8500 francs.

tmsnrt.rs/1HS8AdC - Swiss franc cap abandoned   Continued...

 
Swiss franc coins are seen in a cash drawer in this picture illustration in Bern January 16, 2015. REUTERS/Thomas Hodel