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S&P Dow Jones Indices Recaps 2012 Financial Market Performance; Identifies Headwinds That Could Impact Returns In 2013

The main themes that may drive commodity prices in 2013 are China's demand, quantitative easing, and the Eurozone financial crisis. If China develops like Japan and Korea did, its economy may start to transition to a slower economic clip in the next five years. Still, the volume of commodities needed versus today's output of metals, such as copper, build a case that supports high prices; China's copper consumption could double if China's growth trajectory mirrors that of Japan's or Korea's while supply grows by 3.5% annually.

As for oil demand, China's increased needs could offset declines in U.S. and Europe. And while demands by other emerging markets including Africa, Latin Americas, and the Middle East are expected to rise, the overall demand elsewhere may only be slightly above the expected increase in non-OPEC oil supplies."

U.S. EquitiesAccording to S&P Dow Jones Indices Senior Index Analyst, Howard Silverblatt :

"2012 will be remembered for the European debt crisis and recession, as well as the U.S. political situation and its debt levels. Dominating the market and investing were the enormous uncertainty of the times. The typical market reacts to companies, evaluating their future profits and potential dividends.  This year proved atypical as the enormous number of global uncertainties governed the market, with any specific company only able to react and place itself in the environment.  In the U.S., the inability of political parties to work together made tax policy, social spending and debt levels almost impossible to forecast, keeping many businesses from committing to future projects and expansions.  Consumers, who account for 70% of spending, encountered short-term incentives but no idea of what future policy would be or bring. The U.S. election outcome did little to alleviate uncertainty or encourage investment.

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