Global stocks have closed a scary year with grumbling, signaling further potential declines in 2019. Markets around the world have been hit by the US-China trade conflict, fears of rising interest rates and geopolitical outlets like Brexit. As the year drew to a close, some problems were resolved. A WESTD TIME FOR STOCKS The best stock for 2018 … and the worst stocks almost everywhere fell Why Washington Wall Street is making nervous upside down 10 days on the market FTSE All-World index tracks thousands of stocks across a range of markets, Decreased by 12% this year. It is the worst performance of the index since the global financial crisis and a sharp reversal of nearly 25% gains in 2017. Analysts see more problems in the future. Neil Schering, chief economist at Capital Economics, warned recently that next year’s economic outlook is “more challenging” and weaker growth is likely to have “significant effects on financial markets.” “We expect global stock markets to struggle again next year, with US stocks likely to see the biggest declines,” he wrote in a research note. The problem in Asia This year’s market damage has been more pronounced in China, with the world’s second largest economy feeling the effects of dark trade prospects and government attempts to curb risky lending after a rapid rise in debt levels. The Shanghai Composite Index entered a bearish market in June, and has now fallen nearly 25% since the beginning of the year. The Shenzhen Composite Index, which houses many technology companies in the country, fell more than 33 percent over the same period. In Hong Kong, the Hang Seng Index fell 14%. China’s industrial sector contracts for first time since 2016 The economic crisis caused by the trade war is expected to become more pronounced in the coming months, damaging Chinese exports and corporate profits. What remains uncertain is the severity of the slowdown and to what extent the Chinese government will go to try to mitigate the impact. Stocks are not excluded elsewhere in Asia, including Japan and South Korea. The Kospi index fell 17% this year in Seoul. Japan’s Nikkei fell 12%, while the broader Topix index lost nearly 18%. Europe fell DAX index in Frankfurt fell more than 18% since January. German automakers have been particularly hit by trade war fears and new emissions tests. The main stock market in Milan, Italy, fell 16% amid concerns over spending plans proposed by the country’s popular government. The IBEX index in Spain fell 15% and the French CAC 40 index fell 11%. Brexit 2019: UK will choose between recession and convenience Looking to the future until 2019, Brexit remains a major threat to Europe. British stocks may be affected if the UK leaves the EU without a deal, but foreign companies operating in the country could also be affected. Wall Street pain The Dow dropped 6.7% in 2018 with one trading session remaining. The S & P 500 index fell 7% over the same period and the Nasdaq fell 4.6%. While annual losses may not be as sharp as in some other markets, Wall Street is in a historic period of volatility. The S & P 500 was up or down more than 1% nine times in December and 64 times this year. In 2017, it happened only eight times. Big Winners There were a few major global markets that turned into decent performances in 2018. The Indian Sensex closed the year with gains of nearly 3%. At the same time, Brazil’s Bovispa index rose 15%. Jethro Mullen and Daniel Shane contributed to reporting.