Monthly financial markets outlook | February 2022

Financial markets had a rocky start to the year as trepidation over the prospect of monetary policy tightening and rising risks of war in eastern Europe exerted selling pressure on assets across all major global markets. Developed market equities regressed 5.3% in dollar terms with Europe and the US reporting the sharpest drawdowns of 6.1% and 5.3% respectively. From a distance, the sell-off appeared indiscriminate. However, a closer inspection shows a pattern of investors rotating from speculative stocks and pandemic era leaders which are expected to be hurt by rising interest rates to cheaper cyclical and value stocks. For instance, growth and small caps plunged 9.3% and 7.5% respectively while value stocks recorded shallower drawdowns.