After a prolonged period of low volatility across global markets, early February witnessed an unpleasant wake-up call for global investors. Higher than forecast wage data and increased investor speculation that global Central banks were set to tighten their monetary policies further caused market volatility to spike, which resulted in a rush amongst some global investors to adjust strategies that were reliant on market complacency.
What happened in the markets?
- Despite a positive second half of the month and continued positive global growth data, most asset classes failed to recover from earlier losses and ended the month in the red
- In global equity markets, both developed and emerging markets delivered negative returns for investors. The only notable exception was the return from Japanese equities in sterling terms, following a strong month for the Japanese yen and a weaker month for the UK pound linked to ongoing Brexit uncertainties
- It was also a weaker month for commodity markets against a stronger US dollar, while returns for global fixed income markets were relatively benign
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This article was previously published on Tilney prior to the launch of Evelyn Partners.