(This is an updated version of a story that moved on Dec. 18)
By Marc Jones and Ritvik Carvalho
LONDON, Dec 24 (Reuters) - The dollar reigned supreme in 2015, having been pumped up all year by expectations of a rate rise which the Federal Reserve finally delivered this week, while emerging markets, oil and metals have been the big losers.
The dollar index, which measures the greenback against other top currencies, is up 9 percent for the year, after gaining nearly 13 percent in 2014. tmsnrt.rs/1Ml1UzG
More than half of the move came early in the year, when the European Central Bank was preparing to start a money-printing programme. Four percent has come since September, when the Fed began clearly signalling it was finally going to raise rates.
At the other end of the spectrum, the oil price is heading for a 35 percent drop for the year. Having plunged last year, too, it started sliding again in May, when worries about resource-hungry China’s slowdown began to bite.
As this graphic shows link.reuters.com/ryk74w the drop really gathered pace in early October. Crude hit 11-year lows this week as top exporter Saudi Arabia continues to pump without constraint.
It comes against a backdrop of already heavy oversupply. U.S. oil production has doubled over the past six years, and Iran will soon be feeding more into the global market as its international sanctions are lifted.
There are other big winners that have rewarded the brave. Despite sanctions over Ukraine and the slump in oil, Russian bonds are up roughly 20 percent for anyone who brought at the start of the year. And the Hungarian share market has made more than 30 percent in dollar terms.
Even wilder are the so-called 'toxic trio'. Ukraine's bonds have returned over 40 percent this year, making them the world's best performers. Venezuela and Argentina rank second and third, having chalked up gains of 40 and 20 percent respectively. link.reuters.com/fac26w
Shanghai-A shares were next best after the dollar. The stocks index is up 7.5 percent for the year, ahead of Japan’s Nikkei, up 7.2 percent.
Shanghai shares had been up 30 percent at one point but fell as it became clear China's giant economy was slowing faster than expected to become one of the big stories of the year. It was compounded as Beijing caught markets off-guard with an impromptu 3 percent devaluation of the yuan in August. link.reuters.com/myh35w
Meanwhile Wall Street’s S&P 500 index has had its worst year since the height of the euro zone crisis in 2011, returning 2.4 percent when dividends are included.
MSCI’s 46-country All World index, however, is down 3.7 percent, which will end three straight years of gains.
Emerging markets are squarely to blame. MSCI’s main EM index has slumped 16 percent as the near perfect storm of lacklustre global growth, slumping commodities, a strong dollar and some ugly politics have hammered countries from Brazil and South Africa to Turkey and Malaysia.
Their currencies have taken a battering, too. Brazil's real is down 33 percent, South Africa's rand is down almost 24 percent, Turkey's lira 20 percent, and Russia's rouble down 14 percent to name just a few. link.reuters.com/tak27s
Concerns about Chinese demand has been a driver, particularly for commodity economies. It’s not just oil - copper prices are down 26 percent for the year, the biggest decline since the 2007-2008 financial crisis.
The Thomson Reuters/Core Commodity CRB index, which measures 19 commodities, is down 24 percent and struck a 13-year low earlier this month.
One of the other surprises in 2015 has been the outperformance of U.S. bonds compared with their European equivalents. This has come despite the European Central Bank’s programme to buy more than 1 trillion euros ($1.08 trillion) of bonds, the Fed’s decision to halt its own bond purchases and the increase in U.S. interest rates this week.
While actual Bund yields are marginally higher when they started the year, much of the underperformance in dollar terms is due to the 10 percent drop in the value of the euro as Super Mario Draghi has ramped up the printing presses. ($1 = 0.9224 euros) (Graphics by Vincent Flasseur; Editing by Greg Mahlich)