The US Fed appears to be more cautious about the economy but remains in tightening mode, with a further two rate hikes expected in 2019.
There are signs of slowing momentum in the US economy but fundamentals remain relatively robust, especially in the labour market.
The property market has dominated the headlines in Australia, with significant falls in the Sydney and Melbourne markets during 2018.
Economic growth in Europe is slowing while political risks in the form of Brexit and the Italian budget are fuelling uncertainty.
Chinese manufacturing contracted in December while markets eagerly awaited the resumption of trade talks in the new year.
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