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Global – Risk-off prevails United States The US government increased tariffs on an additional $200 billion of Chinese goods from 10% to 25% with China responding with a tariff hike on $60 billion of US imports. Furthermore, the US administration imposed punitive measures on the Chinese tech-giant Huawei as well as threatening to impose a 5% tariff on all imports from Mexico. Once the Chinese trade talks broke down, these moves put the skids under the New York markets. The S&P 500 returned -6.4%. Economic data remained positive with the Federal Reserve maintaining its dovish approach to interest rates and employment continued to rise. 263 000 new jobs were created resulting in total unemployment declining to 3.6%. Consumer confidence remained on the up climb from 129.2 in April to 134.1 in May. However, manufacturing slowed with May’s PMI coming in... Read More
Global – A booming US United States of America Economic data emanating from the US continued to outstrip expectations resulting in significant risk-on appetite and driving equities to all-time highs. Far better than expected Q1 GDP numbers came in at 3.2% while employment numbers grew by 196,000 in March and the unemployment rate remained at 3.8%. These factors coupled with the continuing dovish approach to interest rates on the part of the Federal Reserve kept the markets buoyant. Earnings results provided additional stimulus to the markets with technology stocks Amazon and Twitter delivering spectacular numbers. Market performance in the tech sector at month end was somewhat soured by results from Alphabet, the holding company of Google, which delivered disappointing results. The Financial sector was the best performer. Read the full article
Global – A trade peace? US equities continued to improve in February as economic data indicated a stable economy. GDP growth quarter-on-quarter for Q4 came in at 2.6% which was an improvement on economists’ forecasts of 2.2% but considerably lower than Q3 growth of 3.4%. Growth in Q1 2019 is expected to reflect a slowdown in the economy. Employment levels remained buoyant. Markets continued to enjoy their winning streak, bolstered by renewed hopes for a US/China trade war settlement together with the Federal Reserve’s confirmation of a more dovish approach to interest rate policy. The US has temporarily suspended the imposition of increased tariffs on $200 billion of Chinese goods that was scheduled to be imposed from 1 March. The Dow Jones Industrial Average returned a positive 3.7% followed by the S&P 500 which returned 3.0%. Read the full article