All the global risks that could threaten markets in 2019

Oscar Williams-Grut
Senior City Correspondent, Yahoo Finance UK
Nomura's latest risk radar. Photo: Nomura

The Brexit deadline, a changing of the guard at the European Central Bank, and rising tensions in the Gulf — 2019 still has a lot of potential risks on the horizon.

Nomura published its latest quarterly Risk Radar on Tuesday, which tracks “what we think investors need to know” for the rest of 2019 and beyond.

The Japanese investment banks produced a graphic visualising all the risk points for investment thesis over the next six months and beyond. They include things like elections, central bank meetings, and tariff deadlines.

“We have plenty more risks ahead and those are just the ones we can account for,” Nomura’s global FX strategist Jordan Rochester wrote in a note to clients.

The two biggest threats to global markets remain Brexit and the ongoing US trade wars. The IMF cut its forecast for this year and next on Tuesday, citing these two macro issues.

“The never ending saga of Brexit will likely see the risk of an early election being called and/or a hard Brexit too,” Rochester said.

Deutsche Bank has put the likelihood of a no-deal Brexit at 45%. UBS said following Boris Johnson’s election as the new Conservative Party leader that the likelihood is now 50%, while Goldman Sachs upgraded its no-deal forecast to 20%.

Beyond concrete deadlines, there are rising risks of things like snap elections in the UK and Italy or more existential threats such as a re-think of monetary policy around the world.

Rochester wrote: “Major central banks are entering a new phase of monetary easing with some looking to redefine their policy strategy entirely.

“Elections in Italy remain a risk in 2020, but in the US and New Zealand are a certainty.

“Tensions in the Gulf are on the rise, oil output is falling, meaning OPEC meetings will take on renewed market relevance. While the choices of Donald Trump with respect to further tariffs or talk about FX intervention will likely keep the market volatile.”

The 24-page note unpacks the risks in more detail, focusing on short-term risks such as the progress of Brexit negotiations, the Federal Reserve potentially cutting interest rates next week, and the new head of Turkey’s central bank chairing his first meeting.