Key points:

  • The MSCI 47-country index rose 11%.
  • Nvidia’s share price soared 150%.
  • Cocoa prices soar: 85% increase – second highest ever.

The first half of 2024 was marked by rapid development in global markets. The relentless movement of mega-cap companies, slow moves by central banks, multiple political turmoil and M&A activity all weighed on the market in the first half of 2024.

Expectations of a large-scale reduction in interest rates on a global scale have not been fully realized. However, Nvidia‘s market capitalization has shown impressive growth, and the combined value of the rest of the Magnificent Seven has increased by $3.6 trillion.

Nvidia’s influence on global markets

The 47-country MSCI World Equity Index is up an impressive 11% year-to-date. This is certainly a positive result, but it pales in comparison to the 30% surge in tech stocks and the staggering 150% rise in Nvidia’s share price.

It is worth noting that 30% of the S&P index’s profit for the current year was achieved solely due to the growth of Nvidia shares.

It’s not just the stock markets that set new records. The Japanese yen hit a 38-year low against the US dollar. Cocoa beans posted one of their best prices ever and French bond yields soared to their highest levels since the euro crisis.

Emmanuel Macron’s defeat in the EU elections, inflicted on him by far-right parties, forced the French President to announce early parliamentary elections, the first round of which took place last Sunday.

Cocoa prices have shown impressive growth

The commodity market in the first half of 2024 was marked by a rise in cocoa prices, which amounted to almost 85%. This is the second-highest annual increase ever, which is certainly not good news for chocolate lovers. The reason for the jump was a lack of supply of cocoa beans due to weather conditions.

Gold reached a record high of $2,450 per ounce in May. Oil rose 12% and Bitcoin surpassed the $70,000 mark and set a series of new highs after US regulators approved Bitcoin-based exchange-traded funds.

Global M&A activity increased 5% year-on-year.

That growth was fueled by major $35 billion deals, such as credit card maker Capital One’s acquisition of Discover Financial and chip designer Synopsys’ purchase of rival Ansys.