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January's Market Volatility: Blip Or Omen?

This story originally appeared on Bloomberg View.

January was an unusual and exciting month for financial markets.

Volatility returned to the equity markets. To use a rather unsophisticated measure, almost three-quarters of the trading days showed moves of more than 100 points in the Dow Jones Industrial Average. Yields on higher quality government bonds plummeted; 10-year Treasuries ended the month at 1.64 percent and Germany's 10-year rate touched a record low of 0.298 percent. Meanwhile, the foreign exchange markets were marked not only by notable fluctuations in currency values but also by changes in exchange rate systems for stability-obsessed countries such as Singapore and Switzerland