Here are three key global themes set to dominate markets in 2018

The next calendar year is projected to be a "nerve-jangling" ride for global investors, strategists told CNBC, with recurring geopolitical tension and the frenzies of technology set to guide market trends.

Alongside the Winter Olympics and the soccer World Cup, traders will likely monitor North Korea's nuclear challenge, Brexit developments, China's economic reform and America's mid-term elections in the next 12 months.

Ahead of several absorbing battles for influence, CNBC takes a look at three key global themes set to influence financial markets in 2018:

Buckle up for a 'techlash'

Daniel Franklin, executive editor at The Economist and editor of "The World in 2018", told CNBC in an interview that he believed one particular theme to watch out for in 2018 would likely be an impending "techlash."

Over the coming months, lawmakers across the world will likely turn on tech behemoths such as Facebook, Google and Amazon, Franklin said.

"These companies have (become) worryingly large, their use of data isn't always something people are happy with and there's the whole question over whether their platforms are being used for political purposes," he added.

Several U.S. tech firms base their European headquarters in European Union (EU) nations with favorable tax regimes. That often means the companies book the majority of their European profits in those countries.

This photograph taken on September 28, 2017, shows a smartphone being operated in front of GAFA logos (acronym for Google, Apple, Facebook and Amazon web giants) as background in Hédé-Bazouges, western France.
DAMIEN MEYER | AFP | Getty Images
This photograph taken on September 28, 2017, shows a smartphone being operated in front of GAFA logos (acronym for Google, Apple, Facebook and Amazon web giants) as background in Hédé-Bazouges, western France.

When asked whether a projected backlash against the world's largest technology companies would likely be more of a concern for Europe or the U.S., Franklin replied, "I think it is going to be both actually."

While lawmakers are expected to put tech giants under the spotlight next year, Franklin said transatlantic companies would also need to watch out for the somewhat "unattractively" named general data protection regulation (GPDR).

GPDR represents the harmonization of data protection laws throughout the EU. The incoming legislation, which offers greater rights to individuals, aims to apply broader pressure for transparency about the origin and accuracy of content. Failure to comply with GPDR is likely to result in penalties totaling either 4 percent of global turnover or 20 million euros ($23.5 million) — whichever value is greater.

The 'pivotal' question: Can global growth continue in 2018?

"We think yes," UBS analysts said in a research note.

Researchers at Switzerland's biggest bank said financial conditions in the U.S. and Europe were "easy" and most of the adjustments for the global economy were now behind us, "leaving the playing field more level and free for growth to catch up."

UBS economists forecast global growth to reach 3.8 percent in 2018 — the same level as in 2017 — with all major economies set to participate.

"Despite the length of the recovery, there is room for global growth to expand amid very few signs of excess in the real economy," the banks analysts' said.

Elsewhere, PwC projected global economic growth to peak at 3.7 percent next year. The accountancy and professional services firm said a stronger-than-anticipated cyclical recovery in the euro zone and robust growth in the U.S. should be supportive.

Trump vs. Macron

The next calendar year should also see two competing political ideologies come to the fore, according to The Economist's Daniel Franklin.

"While President Donald Trump focuses on his inward-looking 'America First' agenda, France's President Emmanuel Macron promises a new kind of pro-globalization social contract, one that boosts competition and entrepreneurship while protecting workers who lose out," he said.

Trump has been accused of prioritizing national sovereignty over international alliances during his first 12 months in the Oval Office. However, the former New York businessman has insisted he wants to create good, well-paying jobs and his administration's plan includes an "America First" trade policy alongside corporate tax cuts and an ambitious bid to invest in infrastructure.

Nonetheless, Trump's "closed world views" are in direct contrast to Macron's, Franklin said.

The two leaders' opposing ideologies have been evident on the international stage before too. Shortly after Trump vowed to withdraw from the Paris climate change agreement, France's Macron announced an initiative titled "Make Our Planet Great Again" — an apparent rebuke to Trump's campaign pledge to "Make America Great Again."

French President Emmanuel Macron holds a sign with the slogan 'Make our planet great again' as he attends the 'Tech for Planet' event at the 'Station F' start-up campus ahead of the One Planet Summit in Paris on December 11, 2017.
Philippe Wojazer | AFP | Getty Images
French President Emmanuel Macron holds a sign with the slogan 'Make our planet great again' as he attends the 'Tech for Planet' event at the 'Station F' start-up campus ahead of the One Planet Summit in Paris on December 11, 2017.

Meantime, Macron wants to make France's labor market more flexible in order to improve the country's economy. He has championed the need for France to become more competitive and made labor reform one of his showpiece policies on the campaign trail. However, the issue has always sparked problems with trade unions.

Over the coming months, Franklin predicted Macron would emerge as the modern-day equivalent of former U.S. President Theodore Roosevelt — the American premier most associated with the "Progressive Era".