The main role of Markets is to provide service linked to the sale and brokerage of securities and foreign currency, market making, advice to corporates and asset management.
The MSCI global index fell by 6.4% during the year in ISK and the appreciation of the ISK was the single most influential factor impacting return.
Return of foreign equities in local currencies was fair. Return of the global index in USD was 7.3%. These positive developments were driven by good returns on US equities - the S&P 500 index gained 10.9% during the year. European equities increased by a mere 1.0% and Japanese equities by 2.4% during the same period.
Developments on international markets followed world events closely. 2016 commenced with a report of lacklustre economic growth in China and expectations of diminishing growth in the country. Market participants worried that this would impact the global economic outlook.
Oil prices rose at the beginning of the year and fluctuated considerably over the year following severe decreases in the previous two years. The main factor effecting oil prices were OPEC's attempts to influence global production and supply of oil. Following oil price hikes, stock prices in emerging markets rose, as emerging markets are dependent on producing commodities. The emerging markets index rose by 11.6% during the year.