SINGAPORE (Dec 3): November was another choppy month for Wall Street and global stock markets. Despite robust corporate earnings in the US, expectations are that earnings have peaked as interest rates start to rise and the US-China spat affects trade. A decade of pump-priming amid low interest rates and easy credit has reflated asset prices and led to growing indebtedness, and this has to be unwound. 

A key driver behind the market rout was fears that interest rates were likely to rise more than expected. The US Federal Reserve raised interest rates by 25 basis points to 2.00% to 2.25% in September. It foresees another rate hike in December and three more next year. 

However, as stock markets face increased volatility, there are also expectations that the pace of rate hikes may be tempered. Case in point: Wall Street rallied sharply on Nov 28 after US Federal Reserve chairman Jerome Powell said interest rates were “just below” neutral.

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