It has proved to be another challenging few months with US & European banking taking the headlines in March, causing a general risk off sentiment across most major asset classes.
US equities have been strong performers overall, led once again by the larger technology companies, as well as the recovery from the lows seen in March’s sell off. Headline inflation is generally falling around developed economies and we are even starting to see deflation in China. This coupled with some weakening of the US jobs market might, but with around 70% probability, allow the Federal Reserve to hold exchange rates in June and this, along with better corporate results than expected, has given US equities the rally into bull market territory (+20% from market lows in October) that we have all been waiting for.
It remains a fine balancing act for central banks – growth is proving more resilient than expected but there is a lagged effect between rates rising and the impact they have on economies. The next few months will remain volatile and driven by macro-economic data and comments from central banks.