December General Markets Comments

by Pierre Mouton

December General Markets Comments

“Muy tranquilo” – Gramatik, 2010.

2023 has come to an end, “Muy Tranquilo” in December with, nevertheless, many interesting moves in key markets (more on that below). But the whole year was far from “Muy Tranquilo”: apart from the insatiable thirst from equity investors towards the famous Magnificent Seven, there has been several significant ups and downs for a lot of financial assets.

Let’s start with the most important one, US 10 year yield: it ironically ended 2023 more or less where it started (3.85%), but went as low as 3.25% and as high as 5.01%. That’s a 176 bps amplitude, more than 45% of the starting point! What about Oil, ranging from $65 to $95 for the WTI, or the Japanese Yen, down 16% at some point versus the dollar, falling to a 32 years low, or the Chinese CSI 300 equity index, up 10% in January to end the year 12% down. This list could expand further, but it is clear that inflation expectations, and consequently monetary policies, are one of the main reasons for these wild moves.

A more dovish, or less hawkish, Fed, pulled the trigger for a spectacular year-end rally: all major indices, barring the Japanese Topix (as usual struggling when the USD is weak), were on the rise. The S&P 500 added 4.4%, the Stoxx 600 3.8%, the MSCI Emerging Markets 3.7%, and the high-flying Nasdaq 100 5.5%. In a falling interest rates environment, the MSCI World Value surprisingly outpaced the MSCI World Growth (+5.2% versus +4.4%), while Oil, despite tensions in the Red Sea, abandoned 5.7%.

Interestingly, we have witnessed several All-Time Highs in December: the Dow Jones, the DAX, the CAC, the S&P 500 total return, the Nasdaq 100 total return, the Itraxx Crossover and Gold. Also worth mentioning is the Topix, which reached levels unseen since 1990!

Do not expect a “Muy Tranquilo” 2024: we will have to cope with high valuations for the market leaders, an economic slowdown (or a recession?), a difficult to tame inflation (favourable base effects are behind), continuous geopolitical tensions, which, added to the looming US presidential election, will maintain a heightened fear factor. But we nevertheless wish you a wonderful 2024, as “Muy Tranquilo” as possible!




Past performance is not indicative of future results. The views, strategies and financial instruments described in this document may not be suitable for all investors. Opinions expressed are current opinions as of date(s) appearing in this material only. References to market or composite indices, benchmarks or other measures of relative market performance over a specified period of time are provided for your information only. NS PARTNERS SA provides no warranty and makes no representation of any kind whatsoever regarding the accuracy and completeness of any data, including financial market data or other financial instruments referred to in this general comment. This document does not constitute an offer or solicitation to any person in any jurisdiction in which such offer or solicitation is not authorized or to any person to whom it would be unlawful to make such offer or solicitation. Any reference in this document to specific securities and issuers are for illustrative purposes only, and should not be interpreted as recommendations to purchase or sell those securities. References in this document to investment funds that have not been registered with the FINMA cannot be distributed in or from Switzerland except to certain categories of eligible investors. Some of the entities of the NS Partners Group or its clients may hold a position in the financial instruments of any issuer discussed herein, or act as advisor to any such issuer. Additional information is available on request. © NS Partners Group

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Antonio Mira

Antonio Mira joined NS Partners in 2006 as Group Chief Financial Officer. He heads the corporate functions and is involved in coordinating and implementing the decisions of the Executive Committee.
An experienced bank auditor, Antonio started his career in 1995 with Arthur Andersen, where he worked for some 7 years before joining Ernst & Young in 2002 as a Senior Manager.
Antonio is a Swiss chartered accountant and a Business graduate of Lausanne University (HEC).

Sébastien Poiret

Sébastien Poiret joined NS Partners in 2008 and manages funds of hedge funds and private client mandates. He also oversees the development of the Group’s offices in Mauritius.

Prior to joining NS Partners, he served as a Trader, Head of Manager research and Portfolio Manager in the USA and Switzerland for a single hedge fund (1998-2004) and for Optimal (2004-2008), Grupo Santander’s fund-of-hedge funds operations.

Sébastien holds a Bachelor’s degree in Corporate Finance from the ESPEME Business School (EDHEC Group) and an MBA in Finance and Economics from the Institute of Business Administration, both in Nice.

Abir Oreibi

Abir Oreibi joined the Board of the NS Partners Group in 2018, where she brings her truly international perspective and rich experience.
Among many other ventures, Abir set up’s first European office. After living and working in Shanghai, Hong Kong, Bangkok and London, she now lives in Geneva, where she is CEO of Lift Events, an organization that identifies technology trends, their business and social impact through the organization of events and open innovation programs. Issues related to the challenges and opportunities created by new technologies as well as the strategic responses from organizations are at the heart of Lift’s activities.
Abir holds a BA in Political Sciences from the University of Geneva. She is an investor, and member of advisory and innovation boards.

Romain Pidoux, CAIA

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Romain Pidoux joined NS Partners in 2011 and heads the Group’s Risk Management.
He started his financial career in 2005 as Head of Quantitative Analysis for a Swiss Family Office, selecting funds and managing portfolio allocation. In 2008, he switched to the alternative world and joined Peak Partners as hedge funds analyst.
He is a Chartered Alternative Investment Analyst (CAIA) and holds a Master’s degree in international relations from the Graduate Institute of International Studies at Geneva University.

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