Predicting the future is a bold, and some may say foolish, endeavour. Trying to predict the markets is the business of trading and anyone participating in them over the last 4 years knows how outrageous they can become. 2023 alone has been marked by surprising economic and geopolitical developments, which have kept the markets fluctuating significantly.
The market has shown us time and time again, that the unexpected happens more often than analysts like to admit. So, here are some outlandish predictions that our team have put together as we prepare to enter 2024 with new hopes and expectations.
1. Oil will plummet to below $50
Saudi Arabia, South Sudan and Vietnam discovered oil rigs in the last quarter of 2023. But as green fuel initiatives accelerate, supply could eclipse demand, which could lead to oil prices plummeting to $50 by 2026, despite green taxes.
2. The Argentinian government will collapse in summer leading to new elections
In a bid to escape hyperinflation, the new Argentinian government devalued the peso by over 50%. If Javier Milei fails to give the economy the much-needed “firm kick,” his presidency might be cut short by the exasperated population who just lost over 50% of their wealth.
3. A new partnership with the EU will spur investment in the UK
The UK has been struggling since Brexit. New records of inflation and unrest among the public will trigger early general elections in February and a Labour win may lead to a new form of companionship with the EU. Of course, only if the House of Commons agrees.
Rishi Sunak is facing strong opposition and untamed inflation may force the BoE to keep interest rates higher for longer. The two major political parties have been locking horns for months and are already trading election-mode slogans to embarrass each other. These have made it clear that the country’s politics is ready to go into battle mode without waiting till the end of 2024.
4. German manufacturing will become the sick man of Europe
Geopolitics will cut Germany out of China and the manufacturing-centred economy will fail to decarbonise at the desired pace. Persistent weakness in global economies has raised concerns among the engineering industry lobby of the world’s manufacturing powerhouse. The German economy is projected to be among the only two (the first being Argentina) G20 economies decelerating in 2024.
The pressures of sky-high inflation and declines in global trade are evident in households and businesses. Under such circumstances, Germany’s growth engine, its manufacturing sector, is struggling to spur growth. Simultaneously, aircraft manufacturers could see a spate of cancellations, especially Boeing, as the global manufacturing sector sputters.
5. FATMAAN stocks will see sharp corrections
A slowed global economy, due to major geopolitical conflicts and the newly awakened environmental consciousness, will hit the FATMAAN club hard. Alphabet and Meta have already lost their advertising thrones to TikTok. Increased investor awareness may give the MANAA (earlier FAANG) a reality check, as their valuations correct lower becoming less speculative.
Greater regulatory oversight and emphasis on protecting individual privacy will lead to sharp corrections in their valuations and pressure Wall Street to shuffle the mega-cap club. Simultaneously, advances in battery technology will lead to further downward pressure on Lithium, lifting values in green tech.
6. Nikki Hailey will be president and steer the US Republicans back to the mainstream
Beating Trump and Biden, the first female governor to run for president will create waves by winning the 2024 poll. Trump will be pardoned in exchange for him drifting off into retirement (after a short stint in house-arrest). US stocks will rally, and the American economy will get a new lease on life.
Starting from a win in her home state of South Carolina and translating her strong pre-poll performance in Iowa and New Hampshire, Nikki Hailey could get a jump start. Additionally, media coverage and capital from anti-Trump groups can significantly add momentum to her campaign.
7. Down-under steps back in time
Meanwhile down-under, New Zealanders will take up smoking in droves, and return to Middle Earth in search of the Marlboro Man!
8. With Uncertainty There’s Never a Dull Moment
We might not be the writers of The Simpsons, but if there’s something we’ve learned, it’s that even the most outlandish predictions can come true. And with this post we wrap up 2023 and wish all our clients, colleagues and partners season’s greetings and he’s to an enigmatic, and definitely exciting, 2024!