Central banks tightening is supportive of risk appetite but historically a large shock such as a war or recession has been required to snap low market volatility, according to strategists at Goldman Sachs.
The low volatility "regime" currently plaguing the equity market is comparable to the last 14 cases since 1928, strategists Christian Mueller-Glissmann and Alessio Rizzi said in a research note published Monday. These periods tend to last almost two years with short-lived spikes and S&P 500 volatility around 10.
"Historically, volatility spikes have been hard to predict as they often occur after unpredictable major geopolitical events, such as wars and terror attacks, or adverse economic financial shocks and so-called 'unknown unknowns' (e.g. Black Monday in 1987)," London-based strategists said in a note.
"Recessions and a slowing business cycle have historically resulted in a high volatility regime across assets," they added.