Ranking of financial markets in 2023. My observations

Here are the results of financial markets that I tracked in 2023, using tools I developed for personal use. The links to the tools will be provided. I have uploaded them to Github Pages and they are available to the public free of charge, with no advertisements.

Stock indices performances are reported after adjusting in USD for fair comparison.

Top ranking of stock indices in 2023 (USD-adjusted) https://advdne.github.io/stock_indices_github/dist
Bottom ranking of stock indices in 2022 (USD-adjusted)

The top 20 stock indices were all positive, with Nasdaq100 at the top gaining 53.81%. A In 2022, Nasdaq100 was the 2nd worst stock index at -32.97%. It was a strong rebound for Nasdaq100 in 2023.

Japan Nikkei225 gained 28.24% in nominal terms in 2023 and would have been ranked 2nd best performer on this metric. However, after adjusting for USD, Nikkei225 gained "only" 19.24% and the ranking dropped to 15th.

Japanese Yen depreciated against USD by 7.02%. When investing in Japanese stocks, the depreciating effects of the Yen cannot be ignored.

            Bottom ranking of stock indices in 2023 (USD-adjusted)

The past 2 years(2023, 2022) have been terrible years for China/HK's stock markets.

China's ChiNext index is China's version of the U.S's Nasdaq index. The purpose of ChiNext index is to track high-growth, innovative stocks on the Shenzhen Stock Exchange.

A year ago (2022), the worst stock index was China's ChiNext index. One year later (2023), the worst stock index is again ChiNext index.

In 2022, the bottom 10 stock indices were littered with the names of Chinese stock indices (ChiNext, A50, CSI300, Shenzhen Composite, Shanghai Composite). One year later (2023), the same Chinese stock indices appear on the bottom 10 list. New additions in 2023 on the bottom 10 list include Hong Kong's Hang Seng index and Hang Seng China Enterprise index.

Since the 2019 large-scale mass protests in Hong Kong, the Hang Seng Index has suffered an unprecedented 4 consecutive down years (2020 -3.4%, 2021 -14.08%, 2022 -15.46%, 2023 -13.82%)

For long-term investors, it may be a good time to buy some HK stocks to take advantage of the low valuation. A rebound driven by mean reversion is due. A lot of pessimistic HK investors who want to be out should be mostly out by the 4th down year.

For shorter-term traders who are usually momentum-oriented, who is to say a 5th consecutive down year cannot happen again, given the strong momentum? Momentum traders may want to wait for an initial strong rebound first, then get in.

Top ranking of currencies versus USD in 2023

The top 2 currencies in 2023 are exotic pairs - Mexican Peso USDMXN and Polish zloty USDPLN. I do not know much about them to comment.

Both the Mexican Peso and the Brazilian Real appeared in the top 5 currency list in the past 2 years (2023, 2022).

Bottom ranking of currencies versus USD in 2023

Bottom ranking of currencies versus USD in 2022

The worst currency in 2023 was the Argentina Peso USDARS (357.42%!). One year ago (2022), the worst currency was also the Argentina Peso. The countries making up the worst 4 currencies of both years are the same. These countries are Argentina, Turkey, Egypt and Pakistan.

What's common among these 4 countries with fast-depreciating currencies?

Ultra-high inflation!

2023 Annual inflation rate  https://twitter.com/WinfieldSmart/status/1742587136614735969

These 4 countries are among the top 10 countries with the highest inflation in 2023.

Ranking of commodities in 2023

2023 has not been a good year for commodities in general. Natural gas fell 64% in 2023. Unfortunately, it did not help much in lowering the electricity utility bill despite Singapore generating about 92% of its electricity from natural gas.

Ranking of cryptocurrencies in 2023 https://advdne.github.io/crypto_github/dist/

Ranking of cryptocurrencies in 2022

All the top 10 major cryptocurrencies in 2023 made triple-digit percentage gains. The top crypto Solana scored 922.44% gain. One year ago, Solana suffered a loss of 98%. Cryptocurrencies can be very profitable if you are a good trader.

The recovery in 2023 from 2022 lows was incredible for cryptocurrencies.

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