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After taper talk in 2013, this will dominate 2014

So it's a new year and I'm very pleased that I received the most important present just before Christmas. In 2014 I will never again have to ask whether the Federal Reserve will start tapering its asset purchase programme.

The relief of that single fact cannot be underestimated and though they don't give 2 hoots, I'd like to personally thank Ben Bernanke and the rest of the FOMC for changing the narrative.

That doesn't mean there aren't lots of other questions.

Nikada | E+ | Getty Images

Top of the list, after a stellar year for stocks what happens now? 2013 witnessed a huge revaluation and an awful lot of future good news has been priced in. To justify more major upside moves for equities there must now be some real earnings growth.

The major companies have been able to generate greater profits by concentrating on the cost side, benefiting in particular from three areas. Restructuring, very low cost of borrowing and very small increments in wages. On the last two it's hard to see anything other than a reversal, the best has been had.

(Read more: 'Dr. Doom' Roubini gets bullish on global economy)

The FTSE 100 meanwhile was a relative laggard compared to other global indices. Up 15 percent whilst Germany's Daxwas up 26 percent and the S&P 500 up nearly 30 percent.

The U.K. was hurt by the preponderance of mining stocks listed in London. The resource sector was the worst performer in Europe, down some 14 percent compared to gains of around 35 percent for the best, autos. Miners were hit by weaker demand particularly from China and a consequent oversupply. Gold stocks were also hit by the precious metal having its worst year since 1981, down some 29 percent.

But will anything change in 2014? Already China PMIs look weaker than expected and George Soros says the country's prospects are his number one concern. The consensus view is that the developed world is once again where investors should position money.

There's a general view that as U.S growth continues to improve and the Fed completes its tapering, yields will rise and the dollar will strengthen so hurting Emerging Market currencies and flows. But a lot of bad news has been priced and EM might just provide the upside surprise.

(Read more: The emerging market to watch in 2014)

As for sterling, it has been a major out performer as has the U.K. economy and right now its strength is probably beneficial. A weaker currency hasn't helped exports nearly half as much as many hoped but it did contribute to higher inflation and the consequent squeeze on real incomes.

A stronger pound will help inflation, enabling the Bank Of England to keep rates lower for longer.Mark Carney wants to ensure a full recovery gets embedded; the current price of sterling should be welcome.

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