Asset Class Reports
Canterbury Review: First Quarter 2019
Strong Rebound Across Markets
- Equity markets rose quickly at the start of the first quarter and dropped to a more cautious pace in March, rebounding from a weak end to 2018 as concerns over the China-U.S. trade dispute eased and central banks grew more accommodative. The Federal Reserve (Fed) settled further into its dovish stance and as the quarter ended, the Fed lowered its projections for U.S. growth and inflation, and reduced its expectations for interest rate hikes.
- International equities recovered well in the first quarter and were also supported by central banks stepping away from tighter monetary policy and by optimism over global trade. However, worries over a slowdown in the global economy remain as Germany experienced near zero growth in the last three months of 2018 and as Italy slipped into recession.
- Fixed income performed well as a dovish Fed and positive market sentiment resulted in lower interest rates and tighter credit spreads. High yield was the best performing sector as credit swiftly rebounded from the December lows. The treasury yield curve continued to flatten and briefly inverted between 3 month and 10 year maturities. The move has led investors to question the health of the U.S. economy, however, an inverted yield curve doesn’t necessarily indicate a pending recession.
- Real assets significantly rebounded as positive growth sentiment and accommodative policies benefited commodities and real estate. OPEC continued to cut oil supply, which was accretive to underlying prices.
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