Friday 10th February 2023
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While the weather in the upper North Island has made for a challenging start to the year, it has been a very different story for markets, which globally have enjoyed a very strong rally thus far in 2023. The US indices have set the tone, with the S&P500 having had its best January in four years with a gain of 6.3%. Technology stocks have driven the momentum, with the Nasdaq up 10.7% and enjoying its best January since 2001.
The kiwi market has also caught a New Year tailwind, with the NZX50 rallying 4.3% in January. Other China facing countries have also seen their markets perform very strongly amid the country’s pivot away from a Covid-zero policy. The ASX200 in Australia surged 6.2% in January, while the Hang Seng in Hong Kong has leapt over 10%.
Upward momentum for stock markets in 2023 of course follows what was a very challenging 2022 for investors. Risk appears to be back on the table, on the view that the worst-case scenarios priced into markets will not eventuate.
But is newfound investor optimism justified, and what are the implications for markets in the coming months, and the rest of the year?
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