EB Market Update – May 2018

Global: Viva Italia!

US equities continued to advance in May, with earnings and economic data providing a buffer against the machinations of President Trump and his continued trade tariff rhetoric. The Trump administration confirmed it would implement punitive trade tariffs on steel and aluminium imports from Canada, Mexico and the EU,and also withdrew from the Iranian nuclear accord.The threat of a potential disruption to international trade did rattle the markets, but the robustness of economic growth data negated the overall impact.

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Domestic: A new dawn?

In line with the majority of global equity markets the FTSE/JSE All Share Index experienced a torrid May,declining -3.5% led by sharp falls in retail and financial shares. Disappointing corporate earnings reports also helped create a negative market attitude. The FTSE/JSE Financials Index declined -6.3% largely as a result of Rand currency depreciation which had a particularly negative effect on the banking sector.

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