Wall Street and oil take the 2016 spoils

Thu Dec 22, 2016 6:12am EST
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By Marc Jones

LONDON (Reuters) - Oil is set to be 2016's top market performer, with its near 50 percent gain an outcome few would have predicted when it plunged to a 12-year low in January.

In a year of shocks, including Britain's vote to leave the European Union and Donald Trump's election as U.S. president, several major assets have been on a rollercoaster.

"(Given) the fragility that markets started the year with and the events that then happened ... it is pretty remarkable how resilient things have been," State Street Global Markets head of macro strategy Michael Metcalfe said.

Crude surged from as low as $27 a barrel to just shy of $58 following two of its worst performing years on record. It dovetailed with large gains from copper CMCU3 zinc CMZN3 and tin CMSN3, and in currencies like Russia's rouble RUB= and Brazil's real BRL= which are both up 17 percent.

As this graphic - reut.rs/1WAiOSC - shows many stocks have not done badly either for investors.

On Wall Street, the S&P 500 .SPX and Dow Jones .DJI are up 12 and 14 percent, respectively, with gains accelerating after Trump's victory.

Tokyo's Nikkei .N225 is 5 percent higher in dollar terms while a 7 percent gain for emerging market stocks .MSCIEF will end a poor three-year run.

The dollar has risen for a third straight year, with all its 4.5 percent gains against a basket of major currencies .DXY coming since the U.S. election. tmsnrt.rs/2egbfVh .   Continued...

File Photo: A sign showing the price of unleaded petrol at 101.9 pence ($1.46) a litre is seen in a raindrop on a car window at a Texaco gas station in central London, Britain January 26, 2016.   REUTERS/Stefan Wermuth