Stock markets swing as wild ride continues
US stocks settled almost where they started on Friday, but only after a volatile day of trading that capped one of the wildest weeks on Wall Street in recent years, leaving both American and global equities on pace for their worst year in a decade.
The S&P 500 index closed down 0.1 per cent, having failed to add to the gains from two consecutive late-afternoon rallies. The Dow Jones Industrial Average was also modestly lower, while the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite eked out a 0.1 per cent gain.
标普500指数(S&P 500 index)收跌0.1%，未能延续前两个交易日接连在午后晚些时候上涨的走势。道琼斯工业平均指数(Dow Jones Industrial Average)也微跌，侧重科技股的纳斯达克综合指数(Nasdaq Composite)艰难上涨0.1%。
The US indices had swung between positive and negative territory on the final full day of trading of 2018, reflecting the volatility that investors increasingly predict will persist into the new year.
Equity markets have been on a roller-coaster ride throughout the Christmas period, clawing back some of the losses from before the holiday when investors worried about the political, economic and monetary policy outlook.
“It is almost surreal in terms of the moves,” said Jurrien Timmer, director of global macro at Fidelity Investments.
富达投资(Fidelity Investments)全球宏观主管朱瑞恩•蒂莫(Jurrien Timmer)表示：“就其波动而言，股市的表现几乎是超现实的。”
The worst Christmas Eve trading day on record was followed by a record-breaking Wall Street bounce on Wednesday.
US shares rallied further on Thursday near the end of what had previously looked like another bruising session. The rally held in Asian and Europe. London’s FTSE 100 index closed up 2.3 per cent on Friday and the Europe-wide Stoxx 600 rose 2 per cent.
美国股市周四在本来看似又一个下跌的交易日即将结束之时再次反弹。亚洲和欧洲股市也接过反弹势头。伦敦富时100指数(FTSE 100)周五收盘上涨2.3%，泛欧斯托克600指数(Stoxx 600)上涨2%。
In Asia, the Hang Seng index was up 0.1 per cent while China’s domestic stocks gained slightly more, with the CSI 300 up 0.7 per cent. Australia’s S&P ASX 200 climbed 1 per cent.
在亚洲，恒生指数(Hang Seng index)上涨0.1%，而中国内地股市涨幅略大，沪深300指数(CSI 300)上涨0.7%。澳大利亚标普ASX 200(S&P ASX 200)指数上涨1%。
“Volatile patterns are to be expected with so many macro risks in the air. Investors may be looking at the improved valuations and trying to buy the dip,” said Matthew Bartolini, head of Americas research for State Street SPDR exchange traded funds.
“由于存在如此多的宏观风险，预计市场还会维持波动走势。投资者可能会关注估值改善的股票，并试图逢低买入，”道富环球投资(State Street)标普存托凭证交易所交易基金(SPDR ETF)美国研究主管马修•巴托里尼(Matthew Bartolini)说。
Investor sentiment had been affected by continuing US-China trade tensions, rising US interest rates, the partial shutdown of the US government, reports that President Donald Trump had considered trying to dismiss Federal Reserve chairman Jay Powell and an effort by US Treasury secretary Steven Mnuchin to calm investors’ nerves that appeared to backfire.
美中贸易持续紧张，美国利率上升，美国政府部分停摆，还有报道称美国总统唐纳德•特朗普(Donald Trump)曾考虑解雇美联储(Fed)主席杰伊•鲍威尔(Jay Powell)，而美国财政部部长史蒂芬•姆努钦(Steven Mnuchin)努力平息投资者的恐慌，却似乎产生了反效果，这一切都影响了投资者情绪。
Mohamed El-Erian, chief economic adviser at Allianz, said the volatility reflected a “loss of anchors, from economic fundamentals to central bank liquidity support and investor behavioural traits [such as] ‘buy in dips’”.
The sharp moves risk “undermining a slowing global economy and fuelling doubts about the functioning of markets”, he warned in a tweet.
Investors have pulled back strongly from equities, data shows. In the fourth week of December investors pulled a total of $21.5bn from equity and bond funds and put $22.6bn into money market funds — which hold short-term Treasury paper and similar cash equivalents — according to figures from EPFR.
US equity funds extended their longest streak of redemptions since mid-2017 while European equity funds posted their 16th consecutive week of outflows.
The Friday session represented the final trading day of the year in some Asian markets including Shanghai and Tokyo. The Japanese Nikkei index ended the year down 12 per cent and the Shanghai Composite 24.6 per cent lower. In the US, equity markets will be open for a truncated session on New Year’s Eve.
Despite the recent volatility, US markets are still outperforming Asia and Europe. The S&P 500 is down 6.7 per cent over the course of this year. The tech-heavy Nasdaq is down just 4.4 per cent.