Quarter 2, 2016
The second quarter of 2016 has been a period of recovery after the turbulences related to China in the early part of the year. Global equities posted positive returns, with developed equities leading the way. Investors focused more on risky assets, trying to compensate for the lack of growth achieved thus far.
1st Quarter, 2016
Markets have been following a downward spiral right from the beginning of the year till mid-February, and the sell-off was triggered mainly by two factors - decreasing and volatile commodity prices, oil in particular, and slowing growth in China. These issues in fact have been passed on from 2015, but they gained much more strength and proved to be the cause of some of the sharpest Q1 falls in the recent history of equity markets.
Quarter 4, 2015
The market went through recovery after the sharp correction in Q3 and global equities delivered positive returns for the fourth quarter, despite generally poor performance in December.
Overall US equities recorded decent returns over the quarter. Fed increased rates for the first time since 2006 on the back of strong domestic macroeconomic data. The US economy seems to be in good shape with the unemployment rate being at a seven-year lower of 5% and increased consumer confidence. Whilst this represents the end of QE programme in the US, other major monetary authorities kept the loosening conditions and this is where we see the divergence of policies between US on the one hand and Europe, Japan, China, etc. on the other hand.
3rd Quarter, 2015
The past quarter can be characterised by record high levels of volatility in global equity markets. The early summer Greek crisis seems like a distant memory in light of successive rounds of sharp market movements, which have left nearly all major developed market indices significantly down for the quarter.
2nd Quarter, 2015
quity returns in Q2 were mixed but overall in modestly positive territory, and bond markets have been influenced by anticipation of an interest rate rise by US Fed. That much-awaited decision seems to be postponed until the end of this year as the American economy underperformed in the first part of 2015.
1st Quarter, 2015
In the first quarter of 2015 the US stock market began to lag behind after a 5-year bull market. This poor performance can primarily be explained by the strengthening of the US dollar and weak wage growth, which resulted in a slowdown of the US economy in the 1st quarter. The Federal Reserve (FED) responded by postponing monetary tightening for the end of 2015 whereas the European Central Bank (ECB) and the Bank of Japan (BOJ) continue printing up to $140 billion combined each month and thus creating an excess of liquidity in the markets.
4th Quarter, 2014
Last quarter of 2014 has seen volatility coming back after its artificially low levels imposed through central banks’ interventions. Still global equities delivered positive returns. A leader again was the US market, which out of all major developed markets has shown the largest gains. Equities in general were supported by expectations that the lower oil price would boost the consumer-led recovery.
3rd Quarter, 2014
So far 2014 has seen moderate returns, which have been supported mainly by central banks’ actions - a dominant theme that affected markets worldwide has been continuation of ultra loose monetary policies in developed economies. US Federal Reserve (Fed), European Central Bank (ECB) and Bank of Japan (BoJ) are still keeping their benchmark interest rates at historically low levels in order to revitalise economies.
2nd Quarter, 2014
Global stocks enjoyed moderate gains, supported by accelerating M&A activity and the fact that the U.S. economy was rebounding from a harsh winter. Energy stocks rallied on fears of a potential oil and gas shortage amid continuing turmoil in Iraq and Ukraine. Bonds also benefited as interest rates tumbled in developed markets. Political uncertainty weakened in certain countries, making emerging markets stocks rise sharply.
1st Quarter, 2014
The first quarter of 2014 has been rather filled with nervousness amongst investors. After an extraordinarily good 2013 many feared that the equity markets had become overvalued and there was a correction of prices coming.