2017 Integrated Report – Departure into a new era

Financial markets

The financial markets reached new heights in 2017 for several reasons, including the loose monetary policy pursued by central banks. After the Federal Reserve started in­­creas­­ing rates, the ECB also exhibited tentative signals and took steps to tighten monetary policy, albeit with much more caution. Due to the forecasted rise in interest rates, we no longer expect negative interest rates in the eurozone over the medium term. Equity and bond prices may come under pressure as a result.