Supportive and predictable policy helping keep equity volatility low

Major equity indices globally have been remarkably stable in recent months, pushing realized volatility readings to very low levels.

Our own research along with that of many others has shown that volatility in equities tends to be persistent in the shorter-term, while tending to mean-revert in the long-term.

Beyond the movements of a single index like the MSCI ACWI or S&P 500, we can also see that the average three-month volatility across a broad array of major developed markets individually is extremely low (chart below). This average of 18 countries’ volatility (based on their respective MSCI country equity benchmark index) is in the bottom decile of its 10-year range right now. This means that it is not just the dominant US market that has had low volatility, nor is it only the diversification effects that can dampen volatility in a broad global index, it is in fact a global pattern of low equity market volatility across many markets.