Major European stock indices have had a difficult year in 2022, with most experiencing their worst performance since before the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic, according to CNBC.
The pan-European Stoxx 600 index ended the year down over 12% compared to the previous year, its worst annual drop since a 13.24% decline in 2018. The French CAC 40 is expected to see a 12% drop for the year, while the German DAX is projected to lose 18%, the worst performance in five years for both indices.
The UK’s FTSE 100 has performed slightly better but is still expected to lose 2% for the year. Analysts attribute the poor performance to geopolitical issues, particularly the conflict in Ukraine and subsequent sanctions against Russia, as well as rising food and energy prices and interest rate hikes implemented by central banks to combat inflation.
The ongoing Covid-19 lockdowns in China have also contributed to market uncertainty. Many experts predict that the trend of cautious risk-taking, such as investing in stocks, that was seen throughout much of 2022 may continue into 2023.