In time for the start of the Lunar New Year, Colin Cieszynski reviews how Global stock markets acted towards the end of the Year of the Goat and look ahead to the upcoming Year of the Monkey. Within this special report Colin Cieszynski focuses on: • Previous market performances in Goat years • How markets have reacted in previous Monkey years • The positive outlook for the coming Year of the Monkey Chinese years and market returns Gong Hei Fat Choi! The Chinese lunar calendar follows a 12-year cycle, with each year named for one of the animals in the Chinese zodiac. Although the actual New Year date varies, we use 31st January for market analysis purposes. The Year of the Goat is nearing its end. Goat years have historically been strong for stock markets, but this has been the worst Goat year since the 1960s for the Hang Seng, and since the 1930s for the S&P 500. Markets got their goat this year indeed. A Year of the Monkey is now approaching. Monkey years have historically been very mixed. Average return S&P 500 Hang Seng CCI FTSE S&P/ASX S&P/TSX Year average return return return return return sign return Since 1927 1965 1958 1963 1959 1927 Dragon 10.28% 12.53% 3.24% 5.32% 7.41% 8.22% Snake (2.36%) (14.81%) (6.90%) 5.25% 3.40% (2.92%) Horse 3.35% 8.30% 4.31% (7.80%) (0.84%) 4.22% Goat 6.29% 24.64% 2.35% 16.23% 24 07% 8.67% Monkey 5.72% 43.92% 1.87% 19.77% 15.27% 5.20% Rooster 12.24% 36.16% 4.78% 10.82% 13.68% 16.49% Dog 6.03% (2.86%) (0.19%) 1.91% (2.17%) 3.29% Pig 14.75% 36.48% 10.07% 22.89% 21.39% 10.35% Rat 6.29% 47.94% (2.30%) 0.69% (4.19%) 6.79% Ox 5.64% (2.05%) 14.72% 8.89% 13.94% 7.34% Tiger 13.96% 4.63% 1.80% 5.45% 4.41% 10.26% Rabbit 8.77% 34.25% 2.69% 19.15% 5.94% 4.52% Average 7.44% 18.33% 3.06% 8.72% 8.32% 6.51% 2016 Goat (3.61%) (16.54%) (13.52%) (9.64%) (10.70%) (15.18%) to Jan 8 Source: CMC Markets, Bloomberg LP How does this Goat year compare? This Goat year was the worst in over 50 years, with all five equity indices and the commodity index I monitor closely posting declines, and with four of the six markets declining over 10%. Although it suffered less relative to its peers, this was the first negative Goat year for the S&P 500 since 1932 and the depths of the Great Depression. Goat years have historically been very strong for the Hang Seng, but this was the worst Goat year for Hong Kong in nearly 50 years. Even the 16% gain it achieved at its 52-week high was way short of prior Goat years. Commodities also had a rough year, which impacted resource-heavy markets in Canada, Australia and to a lesser but still significant extent, the UK. Year of the Goat (ending 31 January 2016) Solar S&P FTSE Australia S&P/TSX year 500 Hang Seng CCI All-Share All Ord Composite 1932 (50.96%) (39.42%) 1944 13.51% 12.13% 1956 19.63% 19.08% 1968 6.50% (15.36%) (2.24%) 34.76% 43.78% 3.58% 1980 14.24% 69.69% 23.18% 10.52% 52.60% 49.60% 1992 18.86% 41.87% (1.35%) 18.49% 22.79% 9.87% 2004 32.19% 43.54% 5.68% 26.99% 11.86% 29.72% 2016 (3.61%) (16.54%) (13.52%) (9.64%) (10.70%) (15.18%) Average 7.71% 34.94% 6.32% 22.69% 32.76% 12.08% Source: CMC Markets, Bloomberg LP Monkey years historically positive for stocks On average, Monkey years have been excellent for stock markets but not as positive for commodities. The Hang Seng has done particularly well in Monkey years, gaining over 70% in 1969 and 1981, although it only managed to eke out a small gain in 2005, the last Monkey year. Monkey years have also been good to stocks in the UK and Australia, with 10%-plus gains on average, but middling for North American markets which have averaged 5% gains in Monkey years. Year of the Monkey (ending 31 January) Solar S&P FTSE Australia S&P/TSX year 500 Hang Seng CCI All-Share All Ord Composite 1933 (12.59%) (18.30%) 1945 13 67% 12.02% 1957 2.05% 8.09% 1969 11.68% 72.43% 1.00% 40.12% 29.74% 24.86% 1981 13.48% 75.00% 3.63% 16.23% 12.12% 9.81% 1993 7.34% 24.99% (5.59%) 11.12% (5.83%) (8.08%) 2005 4.43% 3.25% 8.46% 11.62% 25.06% 8.02% 2017 Average 5.72% 43.92% 1.87% 19.77% 15.27% 5.20% Could we see more monkey business in Chinese markets? The Goat year just ending has been a wild ride for Chinese markets. The huge rally of the spring came to an abrupt end in the summer and January has seen another round of heavy selling pressure. So far, the high volatility in Chinese stocks hasn’t impacted the broader economy and as long as that remains the case, trading should stabilise eventually. Interestingly, the last negative Goat year, a 15.3% drop in 1968, was followed by a huge Monkey year in 1969 that gained 72.4%. Could history repeat itself? Maybe not to the same extent, but the upcoming Monkey year could potentially see a significant rebound in China stocks.