Viewpoint – May 2022

The brutal sell-off in markets this year finally stabilised during May, although the rally was by no means uniform, and investor sentiment remained nervous in the face of intense uncertainties about inflation, growth, and the unfolding impact of the war in Ukraine. No single catalyst triggered the rally, rather a combination of factors: signs of a consumer squeeze and economic slowdown ahead, leading to a sense that inflation is nearing a peak and the Fed’s hawkish policy shift could be enough to bring it under control; improved valuations leading to some dip-buying and a short squeeze in some of the big tech stocks which have been hammered this year; a weaker dollar; and China’s support for its ailing economy and loosening of covid restrictions in major cities.