The Ibex 35, the main indicator of the Madrid Stock Exchange, closed yesterday with a rise of 1.55% and brushed the closing the 8,500 points. In what has been the last full week of the year, the selective index of the Spanish market has left 0.74%. This summary of a very short week, with only three sessions, perfectly defines what is happening in the markets in the last quarter of the year. Nobody takes clear positions and sales transactions think exclusively in the short term. But it is not an endemic evil of the Spanish market. In Europe there are pockets with worse behavior than the Ibex. And also in the world. The globalization of the economy has turned investment into a single market that changes its sign depending on the time zones. 2018 will close with not very good memories for investors, especially for small savers.
Proof of this is that international investors currently hold 46% of the shares, a record number, according to assured a few days ago the president of BME, Antonio Zoido.
In the absence of the half session next Monday (the markets will close in Europe at two o'clock in the afternoon of the last day of the year), the Ibex accumulates a fall of 15.43%, only exceeded, among the large markets of the Old Continent, by the DAX, the index of the German stock market, which heads the ranking, with -18.26%, and the FTSE Mib (Milan), with a collapse of 16.15%.
What happened? That the market closes with the same sensations with which the year began. "All the fronts that were open at the beginning of the year have not closed. Maybe, even doubts about their resolution have increased, "says Sergio Puente, an analyst at XTB in statements to LA RAZÓN.
Commercial war, Brexit …
Equity markets continue to doubt the final outcome of the trade war between the US and China. From the imposition of tariffs on the imports of products from each country, which made the markets a roller coaster, has passed a truce of uncertain outcome according to investors, given the sharp turns of the policy of Donald Trump.
The commercial differences between the two main economic powers of the world have splashed Japan (the third power in discord) and, of course, the European continent.
But Europe has had its own problems. «The main one, the departure of the United Kingdom from the discipline of the European Union. The Brexit has not been finalized ». Not even the time trial agreement reached between Brussels and London has dispelled the doubts of the money. Investors doubt that the British parliament will finally give final approval to the text and fear that Theresa May try at all costs to stay at the head of the Government. For Puente, "the uncertainties about the end of Brexit have been the culprits of the ups and downs of the last quarter of the year".
But more things have happened in Europe. The confrontation between the European Commission and the Italian Government made the shadow of the euro crisis of the summer of 2012 to be planned at times. In fact, Italy's risk premium exceeded 300 basis points and affected, by extension, the so-called peripheral countries.
There are more problems. They say that markets tend to anticipate the beginning or end of business cycles. "And what the markets are indicating is the beginning of a period of slowdown." The forecasts of the major international organizations have highlighted it in their latest reports. The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has ensured that in 2018 the world economy will grow 3.7%, two tenths below the forecast at the beginning of the year. For the period between 2022 and 2023, the increase in GDP will remain at 3.6%.
In the case of developed economies, the advance for the year that closes on Monday will be 2.4%, one tenth below the previous forecasts and 2.1% in 2019. It is a warning. Along the same lines, the European Central Bank, the OECD, the European Commission and, at the domestic level, the Bank of Spain have manifested themselves.
The Spanish stock market will end up yielding around 15% in the year. What has weighed more in the Spanish market? For Sergio Puente there is no doubt: "The abrupt change of Government, the fact that the motion of censorship prospered last June." Markets are often very resistant to non-discounted changes. Those who see themselves coming, as happened with the transition from Felipe González to José María Aznar or from José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero to Mariano Rajoy. But there have been more factors that have influenced the peculiar behavior of the Ibex. For example, the Supreme Court's doubts about who had to pay the Tax on Documented Legal Acts in the constitution of a mortgage loan. Why? Because the Ibex is an index in which bank securities have a very high weighting. "There is a lot of dependence on how bank securities go." And so it has happened. In the absence of the "festive" half-day end of the year, the bank securities listed on the Ibex have suffered what was not in the forecasts. The least affected has been Bankinter, which has left 9.95%. The rest of the securities listed on the Ibex have lost between 16.12% of Caixabank and 37.02% of Sabadell. Not even the most international banks in the country have escaped the burning. Santander has left 24.8% and BBVA, 31.91%. In this last case, the problems of Turkey and the financial rescue of Argentina have had a lot of influence on the price.
A few days ago, the president of BME, Antonio Zoido, spoke of the trading volume of the stock market had fallen by around 9%, up to 550,000 million euros. Although contributions have fallen, shareholders will have received more than 25,600 million euros in dividends this year, 3.9% more than in 2017.
The participation of families in the Stock Exchange has lost weight. In 2018 they own 20% of the listed companies.