Analysis: Fast and furious first half of 2021 keeps financial markets at full throttle

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Reuters


LONDON – After the unprecedented pandemic-driven swings in global financial markets last year 2021 was never going to be dull, and so it has proved.

Source: Reuters

Vaccine programmes and some of the biggest fiscal and central bank stimulus ever seen have made for compelling viewing.

Oil’s 45% surge will be its best start to a year since 2009, world stocks are on course for their second best H1 since 1998, wood is on fire and amateur traders’ much-loved ‘meme’ stocks AMC and GameStop are up more than 2,500% and 1,000% respectively.

Add to that another wild run for bitcoin, digital art selling for tens of millions of dollars despite being free on the internet and major gyrations in government bond markets and you start to get the picture.

“It has been extremely dramatic year,” SEB investment management’s head of asset allocation Hans Peterson said. “The swings have been absolutely enormous. It has not been an easy year,…

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