The first half of 2020 caused many troubles. The coronavirus pandemic, tensions between the US and China, the oil prices collapse and, as a result, the fall in stocks, currencies and bonds of developing countries. Moreover, the global recession is only gaining momentum. Obviously, traders and investors had a tough time.
1. Wuhan outbreak
Analysts expected a favorable year, investors hoped for a trade agreement between the US and China, but a new virus began to spread in Wuhan. A large number of people suffered from pneumonia. Many of them died. The Chinese government decided to implement restrictive measures to limit the infection. This, in turn, caused a fall in risk assets in mid-January. At the end of March, the Emerging Markets Stock Index hit the bottom. And only last Wednesday, it rose by 0.3%.
2. Ultra low rates
Amid the pandemic and global isolation, developing countries' officials lowered rates to their minimums to avoid massive stock sales. This led to the fact that in the second quarter of 2020, dollar bonds of developing markets showed the maximum quarterly growth since 2009.
3. Oil collapse
The disagreements between OPEC and Russia led to a historic fall in oil prices below zero in March. Moreover, the coronavirus pandemic has created new economic troubles. Due to the lack of demand for fuel, the petroleum storage tanks were full. So the countries managed to reach an agreement in April to reduce production. The deal was prolonged in June.
4. On the verge of default
Many countries spent a huge amount of money on fighting the pandemic and eliminating its consequences. In this regard, many developing countries were on the verge of default. Most heavily indebted states have suffered as expanding credit spreads hinder the sale of Eurobonds.
Towards the end of 2019, relations between China and the United States improved. However, after the United States became first in number of the coronavirus cases, relations between countries again became hostile. Donald Trump began accusing China of the COVID-19 outbreak's inappropriate control. This was followed by a series of accusations towards Beijing. This led to a record drop of the yuan against the US dollar in overseas trading.
6. Murder in Iran
The United States was also involved in a conflict with Iran. In January, the Americans killed Iranian General Qasem Soleimani. Iran threatened with counter measures. After that the United States sent additional troops to the Middle East. As a result, the Middle East markets showed the worst dynamics of world stock indexes. Fortunately, Washington and Tehran ceased hostilities. Currencies and stocks of emerging markets have recovered.
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