Viewpoint – February 2020

Markets started 2020 in much the same way that they ended 2019, with investors buoyed by the expectation of ultra loose monetary policy for a long time ahead, diminished risks from trade wars and Brexit, and the prospect of a recovery from 2019’s growth slowdown as manufacturing showed signs of recovering from the slump of the past 18 months. The sharp escalation in the US-Iran feud in early January led to a surge in gold and oil prices but fears of a more widespread and deeper escalation of hostilities quickly dissipated. By mid month global equities had added 2.5% to the strong returns of 2019.