Here Are The Best And Worst Performing Assets In January

In spite of some wild markets over the past week, January overall saw a remarkably stable start to the year for most of the assets Deutsche Bank normally covers, with just 3 of the 43 assets in the bank's sample seeing a move of more than 5% either way last month in local currency terms. That was the lowest number to see a move of that magnitude since November 2019.

However, as DB's Henry Allen writes, "all has not been smooth in financial markets, with a number of companies such as GameStop seeing their share prices soar as a result of traders from the Reddit forum WallStreetBets." GameStop has been the most prominent example, seeing a +1625% rise over the last month, though others such as Blackberry (+113%), AMC Entertainment Holdings (+525%), and Express (+559%) have all surged higher. Meanwhile, bitcoin recorded a 4th consecutive monthly gain as the cryptocurrency rose a further +19.5% in January.

Oil topped the leaderboard of Deutsche's usual monthly list, with both Brent crude (+7.9%) and WTI (+7.6%) seeing large gains over the month and climbing to their highest levels since the pandemic began. Though there’s still risks to oil prices from further lockdowns denting global economic demand, they’ve been supported thanks to reductions in supply, with Saudi Arabia announcing at the start of the month that they’d unilaterally cut output by 1 million barrels per day in February and March. This strong performance for oil comes off the back of it being one of the worst performers in 2020 when both WTI and Brent crude were down by more than -20% over the year.

At the other end of the table were European equities, particularly in southern Europe, with the Greek Athex (-7.4%) seeing the worst monthly performance in total return terms, as Spain’s IBEX 35 (-3.6%) and Italy’s FTSE MIB (-2.6%) similarly lost ground. That said, other regions’ equity markets fared noticeable better, with indices in Asia such as the Hang Seng (+3.9%), the Nikkei (+0.8%), and the Shanghai Comp (+0.3%) all posting gains on the month. US tech companies also performed well as the NASDAQ advanced +1.4%.

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