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.