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Goldman Sachs Is Backing Off of These 5 Bad Market Bets

Fraud Charge Against Goldman Sachs Takes Toll On Market IndicesFraud Charge Against Goldman Sachs Takes Toll On Market Indices
Stock prices whiz by on a ticker near the Goldman Sachs booth.Photograph by Chris Hondros — Getty Images

The market turmoil of 2016 has caught everyone off guard—including Goldman Sachs.

The banking giant has been forced to back off on five out of six of its top recommended trades for 2015 largely due to the volatility, Bloomberg reported.

The five calls that Goldman rolled back in the past few months are:

1. A bet on the U.S. dollar against a basket of euros and yen.
2. Favoring five-year forward Italian bonds against German bonds.
3. Buying U.S. inflation-linked bonds rather than conventional ones.
4. Wagering on U.S. banks against the S&P 500.
5. Betting that the Mexican peso and Russian ruble will appreciate against the South African rand and Chilean peso.

Goldman Sachs (GS) first made the calls back in November, when it expected the U.S. dollar to strengthen, credit spreads in Europe to tighten, inflation to rise, large-cap U.S. banks to show higher profit margins, and a stronger Mexican peso and Russian ruble.

But since start of the new year, currency, stock, and bond markets have been rocked by volatility and shaken by uncertainty about China’s slowing growth.

“Markets have started out this week by aggressively de-risking, apparently owing to fears that the recent slowdown in global growth could descend into recession,” Charles Himmelberg, Goldmam’s chief credit strategist, wrote in a note to clients Tuesday.

Goldman’s bet on the peso and ruble could mean a loss of 6.6% from November to January. The bank’s bet on Italian sovereign yield has also led to a 0.5% loss from November through Feburary, Himmelberg wrote.

Goldman was able to hang onto one call: that a basket of non-commodity exporting companies will beat a basket of emerging-market bank stocks. The position has shown a 4.5% gain since November, Bloomberg reported.