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  • The first three months of 2020 were a horror show in markets.

  • Investors went into the year thinking

  • it was going to be pretty quiet and unspectacular with decent,

  • but unremarkable returns.

  • Big stock markets were at record highs

  • as recently as February, which seems an age ago now.

  • Then, of course, coronavirus came along.

  • The scale of the disruption to investors

  • is really hard to exaggerate.

  • Wall Street stocks dropped into a bear market

  • at the fastest-ever pace, and they ended the quarter down 20

  • per cent, even including a 15 per cent rally from the lowest

  • point of the year.

  • UK stocks had the worst run since 1987, which

  • is not exactly a vintage year.

  • The dollar squeezed higher, which

  • is bad news for countries and companies

  • around the world that have dollar debts.

  • And, perhaps most alarmingly, the government bond market

  • started to malfunction.

  • Covid-19 is a health crisis first and foremost,

  • and the response - locking down communities, cities,

  • and countries around the world - produces an economic crisis

  • too.

  • In mid-March it also appeared to be

  • producing a financial crisis.

  • The financial system itself was getting sick.

  • Central banks and governments can

  • do what they can to help the health crisis

  • and to soothe the economic shock.

  • But they did step in in force to help the markets,

  • and it has worked at least to some degree.

  • Markets are generally much calmer now.

  • But is it time to step back into risky bets?

  • Well, investors are not so sure.

  • As one put it to me this week, it's too late to sell,

  • but it's too early to buy.

  • Bargain hunters are out there.

  • Some hedge funds are raising money

  • to bet that the worst has passed.

  • But picking a bargain is tricky.

  • It relies on assumptions about companies' earnings,

  • and, right now, that's tough.

  • In addition, no one honestly knows

  • how this virus is going to play out

  • or how it's going to work in the US.

  • A bounce-back in markets is definitely

  • possible, but more likely is a slow grind lower from here.

  • That's better than the 10 per cent

  • daily drops we were seeing at one point,

  • but it's still not pretty.

  • Debt defaults by companies and emerging-market countries

  • are now seen as all but inevitable.

  • Investing now is not so much about picking winners

  • as picking survivors.

The first three months of 2020 were a horror show in markets.


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B1 中級 新型コロナウイルス 新型肺炎 COVID-19

コロナウイルス:投資は今、勝者ではなく生存者が対象になっている|FT (Coronavirus: investing is now about survivors, not winners | FT)

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    林宜悉 に公開 2021 年 01 月 14 日