Last year was admittedly a tough one for emerging markets. A number of currencies were under considerable pressure, with some of them falling to record or near-record lows against the strong U.S. dollar. Global trade tensions, threats of sanctions, rising U.S. interest rates and higher oil prices--before they began to crater in October, that is--also contributed to the selloff. From its 52-week high set in January 2018, the MSCI Emerging Markets Index sunk into bear market territory by the end of October.
In every column I have written about natural gas for Forbes I have referred to the natgas futures contract's legendary status among energy traders. Yes, as I have mentioned before, the natgas contract is known as "the widowmaker" owing to its extraordinary volatility. That volatility has been in full force in the last three months as natgas futures jumped through $4.50/mmcf in November before moving back downward into the recent "normal" range of $3.00-$3.50/mmcf and have now taken another leg downward to sit at $2.83/mmcf as of this writing.