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Our monthly portfolio positioning commentary.

Select Portfolio Commentary April 2024

Select Portfolio Commentary April 2024 Latest


Most global equity markets had a strong start to the first quarter of 2024, on the backdrop of an improving economic picture. The US led the way, as its economy remained resilient and unlikely to enter recession, thus on course to achieve the “soft landing” policy makers have been hoping for. Furthermore, Artificial Intelligence stocks continued to boom. However, expectations for interest rate cuts have changed from the start of the year, to the end of the quarter, with fewer cuts now expected and for these to be later in 2024. These expectations meant that global bonds yields rose, prices fell and global bonds posted negative returns.

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Select Portfolio Commentary March 2024

February saw mixed performance within markets, as equities broadly delivered positive returns whilst bonds finished the month down as continued economic resilience delayed expectations of interest rate cuts by the Central Banks.

Developed market equities in particular continued their 2024 rally, being supported by the continued strength of the US economy and signs of an uptick in European economic activity. The Chinese equity market also rebounded following supportive interventions from the Chinese Government, which also benefitted broader Emerging Market Equities.

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Select Portfolio Commentary February 2024

Interest rate policy continued to drive markets in January, with regional differences now being noticeable. In emerging markets, interest rates have already started to be cut, which has been positive for bonds, but not equities, which fell in January. Furthermore, emerging market equities were dragged downwards by China, where investor confidence remains weak.

In developed markets, the expectation of forthcoming interest rate cuts has been delayed by the release of robust economic data. This has led to bond yields rising and prices subsequently falling. However, unlike emerging market equities, developed market equities posted positive returns.

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Select Portfolio Commentary January 2024

Equity and bond markets ended 2023 strongly, with both rising during the month. This rally was fuelled predominantly by the US Federal Reserve’s pivot to contemplating interest rate cuts in 2024. Furthermore, the US economy looks robust as inflation is falling and the labour market is weakening. This led to market commentators expecting the worlds’ largest economy to avoid recession and achieve an economic soft-landing.

Some markets did not participate in the rally, with Chinese equities negative over the period and commodity prices impacted by falling energy costs.

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Select Portfolio Commentary December 2023

Chinese equities notably underperformed their regional peers and other established markets, as disappointing growth, concerns about the ailing property sector and limited central Government intervention worried investors. However, elsewhere it was a positive month for global equities, with inflation slowing and hope building that interest rates may have reached their peak. This also enable global bond markets to rally, as yields fell and prices subsequently rose.

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Select Portfolio Commentary November 2023

Inflation remains resilient in most global economies along with the increase in geopolitical uncertainties. With the wars in the Middle East and Ukraine, and the ongoing tensions between the US & China, both equities and bonds fell during October. Investors are also concerned about the potential for US interest rates remaining higher for longer. The price of gold rose as investors sought safe haven assets.

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Select Portfolio Commentary October 2023

It was a mixed month for equities, with UK, Japanese, Chinese and Emerging Markets posting positive returns during September. However, US equities declined especially as the prices of the “Magnificent Seven”, consisting of Apple, Microsoft, Alphabet, Amazon, Tesla, Nvidia and Meta, fell, which weighed on the overall US market. Nearly 97% of the total US stock market return during 2023 can be attributed to these seven stocks.

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