Quarterly Investment Update April 2019

In what might be described as an unexpected turn around, the negativity of investors was reversed in the first quarter of 2019, as we saw a very positive start to the year for markets. It is probably even more surprising if we look back at the reasons for the negative market movements in 2018 – a slowing economic backdrop, particularly in China, trade wars, political fragility and weak European data – all of which were still in place as we entered 2019. Markets had dropped some way in 2018 with nearly all asset classes reacting to the negativity with the exception of some government debt and property. One of the key concerns for investors was that the US Fed had indicated that its proposed path of interest rate rises would continue into 2019. This began to rattle investor’s confidence as global growth did look to be weakening, resulting in the falls we saw in markets. Wind the clock forward to quarter one 2019 and we saw the Fed seemingly go back on its word and become more dovish in its tones, allowing investors to feel confident about a more pragmatic approach. This was not the only factor, but it is believed to have helped markets in this quarter.


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