Global Outlook

Global financial markets responded positively to the US Federal Reserve’s decision to finally raise borrowing costs as it kick-started its campaign to normalise interest rates on December 16. However, the mood became much more negative at the start of 2016 with tumultuous financial markets. Growing fears about the health of China’s roiled stock markets has sent shares plummeting around the world. Furthermore, Beijing’s decision earlier this month to ease the value of the renminbi lower has not helped matters, raising fears it could trigger a currency war in Asia. The prospect of a hard-landing in the world’s second largest economy recently pushed global oil prices to around US$30 per barrel.

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