Our monthly market update and portfolio positioning commentary.
The global economy continues to grow above trend, with the U.S. leading the major economies and outperforming expectations. Strong U.S. performance was driven by the healthy economic environment leading the S&P 500 Index to return 7.7% over the quarter.
Overall, global equity markets produced a 0.8% return in August, driven by the U.S. However, when the U.S. is excluded, global equities declined 2.3%, dragged down by emerging market returns.
Trade tensions continued to dominate news during July, with the US administration imposing tariffs on Chinese imports. However, all major global equity market indices rose, supported by strong company earnings growth and fears of a US / Eurozone trade war abating
Second Quarter Review Second quarter performance among major asset markets slightly improved over the disappointing first quarter results. However, overall the first half of 2018 proved to be a tougher environment for investors than 2017.
Markets were subject to volatility in May, largely due to heightened political risk including the US administration’s approach to global trade, North Korea and Iran.