Imperium Capital Publication

Weekly Digest – 13 May 2019

  • US increased tariffs on China, escalating trade tensions
  • Stocks slide as trade fears dampen risk appetite
  • Brent crude fell 0.3%, ending the week at $70.6 per barrel
  • Gold ended the week 0.5% higher at $1288 per ounce

Viewpoint – April 2019

Equity markets made further progress in March, despite a return to higher levels of volatility as concerns about the slowdown in global growth intensified. Developed market equities returned 1.3% over the month, taking the Q1 2019 return to 12.5% and recovering much of the ground lost in Q4 2018. US equities advanced 1.9%, supported by encouraging signs of progress in US-China trade talks and the increasingly accommodative stance of the Federal Reserve. In US dollar terms, Japanese equities underperformed the other major regions returning 0.6% while emerging markets returned 0.8%. Despite ongoing Brexit related uncertainty, the UK was a notable outperformer, up over 3% in sterling terms, with the UK’s big overseas earning companies boosted by weakness in the pound during the month.

Viewpoint – March 2019

The Federal Reserve inspired recovery in equity markets following the Q4 2018 sell-off, continued through February, albeit on a more mixed and less dramatic basis than January. European equities led the way with a return of 4.1% in euro terms, taking its recovery since the December low to 14%.

The US and Japanese markets broadly kept pace with Europe in February. US equities returned 3.1%, taking its recovery since the December low to 19% and leaving it only 4% off its all-time high. The major laggard was the UK, which returned 2.3% in February and 8% from its December low, held back by Brexit uncertainty and sterling strength, an important factor for UK stocks given that some 75% of listed company revenues are derived offshore. The MSCI World index returned 3% on the month and is up 17% from its December low.