The last week of 2008 began in the green for commodities as oil and gold prices surged following a flare up in violence in the Middle East.
The dollar was broadly lower, especially against the Swiss franc, which rose on safe-haven buying amid the fighting in Gaza.
Experts tell CNBC that further falls in the greenback and employment can be expected.
Look Out for a Collapse in Employment
The next stage in this financial crisis would be the collapse in employment, says Roger Nightingale, strategist at Pointon York. In light of this, he offers advice on how to invest.
- UK Economy Could Lose 600,000 in 2009: Report
Dollar Seen Weakening in the Longer Term
David Forrester, associate director at Barclays Capital sees the dollar weakening in the longer term. He also gives his foreign exchnage direction for 2009.
Middle Eastern Stocks Look Attractive
People aren't willing to be adventurous going into the end of the year, as most investors have already locked in their positions, Mohammed Yasin, CEO of Shuaa Securities said.
Yasin sees more Middle Eastern investment projects, especially in infrastructure, petrochemical and expansion plans for GCC oil companies, being delayed or "stretched out".
Oil is likely to trade within the $50 to $60 range next year, Yasin predicts.
Middle Eastern stocks are the best investment bets for 2009, according to Yasin. Government-based companies are the most attractive as they will have access to liquidity and leverage going forward, he added.
Real estate in Abu Dhabi and Saudi telcos make good short-term defensive stocks, Yasin told CNBC.
2009: A Tough Year for Autos
2009 will be a "tough year" for automakers. We expect their total volumes to fall another 10% from what they are currently, Sarwant Singh from Frost & Sulivan said, adding that production and sales will increase in India, where they make low-cost cars.
January Rally The More Gloom
2009 is fast approaching but what will it have in store for investors? We're not out of the woods just yet, warned Lorraine Tan from S&P Equity Research. But Elissa Bayer from Charles Stanley sees a short-term rally in January.
"2009's first quarter is going to be extremely difficult," Bayer said.
"There is an appetite for equities," Bayer told CNBC. She noted that people will be investing cautiously until light can be seen at the end of the tunnel.
Mining shares are undervalued, according to Bayer.
How Big Will We Bounce?
"The recession probably right now could be much more extended than people are thinking," Douglas Roberts, founder & CIO of Channel Capital Research.com, said, adding that the markets are due for a bounce on a new administration entering the White House.
"The bounce could be quite significant if there isn't a major event," Roberts told CNBC.
With Obama in power, based on his economic proposals, the alternative energy sector looks attractive, according to Roberts.
Oil to Climb to $65 in '09
Oil could rebound substantially in 2009 to an average of $65 a barrel, according to David Hart, oil and gas analyst at Hanson Westhouse, as demand will pick up again as the year goes on.
Oil will head above an average of $100 a barrel between 2010 and 2015, Hart forecasts.
Soft Commodities to Beat the Slowdown
Agriculture stocks have been less affected in the commodity downturn and the economic slowdown, Eugen Weinberg, senior commodity analyst at Commerzbank, said Monday. Wheat and corn prices will rise steadily next year, he predicts.
Hot on Chinese Domestic Consumption Stocks
Asian investors could look to invest in Chinese domestic consumption stocks, suggests Andrew Sullivan, sales trader at MainFirst Securities.
Expect a V-Shaped Recovery in China
Sun Mingchun, senior China economist at Nomura sees a V-shaped recovery in China, with GDP growth starting to rise in the second-quarter of 2009.
More Bankruptcies for China?
A new wave of bankruptcies may hit China in the first-quarter of 2009, predicts Dorris Chen, head of regional financials research at BNP Paribas Equity, Asia. She tells CNBC where China's economy is headed in 2009.
Happy '08 Ending for Taiwanese Stocks
Taiwanese stocks could close higher by the end 2008, forecasts Seow Hock Hin, senior VP of institutional sales at MF Global. He also assesses the factors that will affect the Taiwan market in 2009.
A Tax Holiday in Singapore?
Singapore's economy may contract 2% to 5% in 2009 and 2010, says Song Seng Wun, regional economist at CIMB-GK Research. As such, he tells CNBC that the government could give a tax holiday for the next few years to cushion the slowdown.