Viewpoint – May 2017

In another good month for risk assets generally the pattern of performance and market leadership has shifted significantly. Following Donald Trump’s election victory in November the US equity market led the world up sharply, with the ‘reflation trade’ accounting for much of the rise. However growing evidence that winning Congressional approval for big policy initiatives such as tax cuts and reforms, and huge spending on infrastructure will be very difficult has meant the US market has stalled. Although the S&P 500 returned 1.0% in April it has traded sideways for two months. At the same time the USD has weakened against all major currencies on a trade weighted basis.