January market performance: There’s just no way out of the financial rollercoaster January market performance: There’s just no way out of the financial rollercoaster January market performance: There’s just no way out of the financial rollercoaster

January market performance: There’s just no way out of the financial rollercoaster

Market Rewind
Søren Otto Simonsen

Senior Investment Editor

Summary:  After a tough end to 2022 for global financial markets, January will be remembered for three things: 1) positive returns are great, 2) it’s been a rollercoaster ride up and down for the past three months, and 3) central bank meetings and earnings season will be important in February.

Global equities increased with seven percent over January. A month ago, when we looked at December, they fell more than four percent. Back then, we argued that the financial markets are on a rollercoaster ride and January only strengthened that analogy.

Check out these numbers: in November, global equities performance was +6.8%, in December-4.3% and now January posted +7%. Since October, these market rewinds have shown monthly global equity performance with changing falls and increases of more than four percent every single month. Up and down, and up…

While this relatively simple depiction of how markets are performing isn’t an absolute truth, it does point to financial markets having a hard time figuring out what to believe in. To some extent a fair issue, as there’s enough to worry about like conflicting macroeconomic figures, geopolitical conflicts, inflation and interest rate increases and a reopening of the Chinese economy. Whether or not recession is coming, whether central banks are making financial conditions too harsh and whether the tightening regime is soon gone are just a few of the topics that occupy market participants and add to the seemingly directionless performance experienced over the past three months.

Towards the end of January, earnings season, which runs into February, as well as some important central bank meetings as early as 1 February were in focus.

US 6.2%.
The American market – as the lowest performing region – climbed six percent in January despite discussions of recession picking up. Still, the market was positive because of a variety of factors, such as easing inflation numbers, strong job market reports and whispers of easing financial conditions based on the potential for less aggressive central bank policy.

Europe 6.7%.
European stocks increased a bit more than seven percent in January. A key driver of this performance is the expectation – or hope rather – that leading central banks will slow their interest rate increases, either in terms of actual tightening or a slower pace of tightening, which will create a more attractive business environment than currently.

Asia 7.8%, Emerging Markets 7.9%.
Both the Asian and Emerging Market regions were supported by a strong performance in China after ending it’s lockdown-heavy zero COVID policy, despite more muted performance in the days after being closed for Chinese New Year.

The equity sectors haven’t been able to get off the rollercoaster either. Back in November, every sector posted positive returns, in December negative returns and in January, we’re back to a thrill ride with only Healthcare in minus and Utilities at status quo.

Interestingly, it was Consumer Discretionary that fell the most in December (-8.6%), but in January, it stood on top of the world, returning almost 15% for the month. To a large extent, you can almost flip last month’s performance.

Take an area like Information Technology, which is always in focus it seems. In December, it fell by eight percent, while it more than made that back in January, increasing with 10.

Global bond performance – and specifically corporate bonds – posted strong returns of more than two and three percent respectively relative to what can be expected by the asset class. The positive numbers come on the back of central bank policy and a potential belief that especially corporate investment grade bonds may fare better than equities in the uncertain environment we are experiencing currently.

Check out the rest of this month’s performance figures here:

Quarterly Outlook 2024 Q3

Sandcastle economics

01 / 05

  • Macro: Sandcastle economics

    Invest wisely in Q3 2024: Discover SaxoStrats' insights on navigating a stable yet fragile global economy.

    Read article
  • Bonds: What to do until inflation stabilises

    Discover strategies for managing bonds as US and European yields remain rangebound due to uncertain inflation and evolving monetary policies.

    Read article
  • Equities: Are we blowing bubbles again

    Explore key trends and opportunities in European equities and electrification theme as market dynamics echo 2021's rally.

    Read article
  • FX: Risk-on currencies to surge against havens

    Explore the outlook for USD, AUD, NZD, and EM carry trades as risk-on currencies are set to outperform in Q3 2024.

    Read article
  • Commodities: Energy and grains in focus as metals pause

    Energy and grains to shine as metals pause. Discover key trends and market drivers for commodities in Q3 2024.

    Read article

Saxo Capital Markets (Australia) Limited prepares and distributes information/research produced within the Saxo Bank Group for informational purposes only. In addition to the disclaimer below, if any general advice is provided, such advice does not take into account your individual objectives, financial situation or needs. You should consider the appropriateness of trading any financial instrument as trading can result in losses that exceed your initial investment. Please refer to our Analysis Disclaimer, and our Financial Services Guide and Product Disclosure Statement. All legal documentation and disclaimers can be found at https://www.home.saxo/en-au/legal/.

The Saxo Bank Group entities each provide execution-only service. Access and use of Saxo News & Research and any Saxo Bank Group website are subject to (i) the Terms of Use; (ii) the full Disclaimer; and (iii) the Risk Warning in addition (where relevant) to the terms governing the use of the website of a member of the Saxo Bank Group.

Saxo News & Research is provided for informational purposes, does not contain (and should not be construed as containing) financial, investment, tax or trading advice or advice of any sort offered, recommended or endorsed by Saxo Bank Group and should not be construed as a record of our trading prices, or as an offer, incentive or solicitation for the subscription, sale or purchase in any financial instrument. No representation or warranty is given as to the accuracy or completeness of this information. All trading or investments you make must be pursuant to your own unprompted and informed self-directed decision. No Saxo Bank Group entity shall be liable for any losses that you may sustain as a result of any investment decision made in reliance on information on Saxo News & Research.

To the extent that any content is construed as investment research, such content was not intended to and has not been prepared in accordance with legal requirements designed to promote the independence of investment research and as such, would be considered as a marketing communication.

None of the information contained here constitutes an offer to purchase or sell a financial instrument, or to make any investments.Saxo Capital Markets does not take into account your personal investment objectives or financial situation and makes no representation and assumes no liability as to the accuracy or completeness of the information nor for any loss arising from any investment made in reliance of this presentation. Any opinions made are subject to change and may be personal to the author. These may not necessarily reflect the opinion of Saxo Capital Markets or its affiliates.

Please read our disclaimers:
- Full Disclaimer (https://www.home.saxo/en-au/legal/disclaimer/saxo-disclaimer)
- Analysis Disclaimer (https://www.home.saxo/en-au/legal/analysis-disclaimer/saxo-analysis-disclaimer)
- Notification on Non-Independent Investment Research (https://www.home.saxo/legal/niird/notification)

Saxo Capital Markets (Australia) Limited
Suite 1, Level 14, 9 Castlereagh St
Sydney NSW 2000

Contact Saxo

Select region


The Saxo trading platform has received numerous awards and recognition. For details of these awards and information on awards visit www.home.saxo/en-au/about-us/awards

Saxo Capital Markets (Australia) Limited ABN 32 110 128 286 AFSL 280372 (‘Saxo’ or ‘Saxo Capital Markets’) is a wholly owned subsidiary of Saxo Bank A/S, headquartered in Denmark. Please refer to our General Business Terms, Financial Services Guide, Product Disclosure Statement and Target Market Determination to consider whether acquiring or continuing to hold financial products is suitable for you, prior to opening an account and investing in a financial product.

Trading in financial instruments carries various risks, and is not suitable for all investors. Please seek expert advice, and always ensure that you fully understand these risks before trading. Saxo Capital Markets does not provide ‘personal’ financial product advice, any information available on this website is ‘general’ in nature and for informational purposes only. Saxo Capital Markets does not take into account an individual’s needs, objectives or financial situation. The Target Market Determination should assist you in determining whether any of the products or services we offer are likely to be consistent with your objectives, financial situation and needs.

Apple, iPad and iPhone are trademarks of Apple Inc., registered in the US and other countries. AppStore is a service mark of Apple Inc.

The information or the products and services referred to on this website may be accessed worldwide, however is only intended for distribution to and use by recipients located in countries where such use does not constitute a violation of applicable legislation or regulations. Products and Services offered on this website is not intended for residents of the United States and Japan.

Please click here to view our full disclaimer.