Terrorism and Russia Conflict Are Top Threats to Global Markets, Say Investors

Ukrainian servicemen fire a mortar from their position near the eastern Ukrainian village Pisky, Donetsk region at the position of pro-Russian separatists at Donetsk airport on Dec. 8, 2014.

Photographer: Anatolii Stepanov/AFP via Getty Images

Terrorism and the Russia-Ukraine conflict are the biggest geopolitical threats to world markets, according to a Bloomberg Global Poll of investors, analysts and traders.

Asked which of nine possibilities posed the greatest risk to financial markets, twenty-six percent of respondents singled out global terrorism, the same percentage that said the conflict in eastern Ukraine between government troops and separatist rebels was the top threat. Fifty-two percent of Bloomberg subscribers polled said that the threat to markets from geopolitical instability is rising, up from 46 percent in November. Only 4 percent forecast a drop, according to the quarterly survey.

Thirteen percent of participants said hacking and the vulnerability of major companies to cyber-crime was the top risk, followed by the rise of Islamic State at 9 percent, South China Sea tension and the effects of climate change at 6 percent each.

The poll of 481 investors, analysts and traders who are Bloomberg subscribers was conducted Jan. 14-15 by Selzer & Co., a Des Moines, Iowa-based firm. It has a margin of error of plus or minus 4.5 percentage points.