May 2019 || Newsletter

Investment Perspective

The rebound of global equity markets was extended in April with European stocks outperforming and U.S. indices reaching new records. The MSCI World Index in local currencies gained 3.6% during the month to bring its year-to-date performance to 16%; growth stocks outperformed value ones, with the technology sector faring the best, on the back of well-received first quarter earnings. The strong demand for risky assets was also reflected by tighter credit spreads and by the weakness of the Swiss franc, which depreciated by 2.4% against the euro and the U.S. dollar. The rally of G-7 sovereign debt came to a halt as yields moved higher, even if this rise remained modest when compared to the plunge of yields over the last quarters.

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April 2019 || Newsletter

Investment Perspective

The first quarter has ended with a well above-average quarterly gain for global equity markets, a significant contraction of credit and EM debt spreads and a plunge of sovereign debt yields. It has also seen the main central banks turn increasingly dovish in the light of growth slowdown concerns and a lack of inflation pressures. Following a 13.5% correction during last year’s fourth quarter, the MSCI World Index in local currencies has made up most of its losses thanks to a 12% year-to-date rebound. Credit spreads have also fared well, with those of U.S. and European high yield bonds tightening by 1.35% and 1.09% respectively.

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Perspectivas de inversión, Enero de 2019

Los mercados financieros se vieron fuertemente perjudicados por el panorama geopolítico.


Tras unos mercados financieros inusualmente tranquilos en 2017, el año pasado supuso un fuerte toque de atención para los inversores. La euforia de principios de año en los mercados de renta variable dio paso a una creciente preocupación, no solo ante los problemas económicos y políticos, sino también por el comportamiento tan extremo de los mercados.
Si bien la economía estadounidense fue sin duda la más resplandeciente, como reflejan unos beneficios empresariales excepcionales, las demás regiones experimentaron una deceleración del crecimiento, especialmente en China y Europa. Este debilitamiento económico se agravó con el creciente impacto de la guerra comercial declarada por Donald Trump contra el resto del mundo y en la que China figuraba como su mayor enemigo. Los mercados financieros también se vieron afectados por varias incertidumbres políticas que resultaron ser más perjudiciales que en años anteriores. La resolución de algunos de estos problemas es un factor clave para la mejora del sentimiento de fragilidad que predomina actualmente en los mercados. 

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December 2018 || Newsletter

Investment Perspective

November was another volatile month for equity markets as they experienced big swings in the wake of the October rout. They did manage to post positive monthly returns across most regions, nevertheless, with EM equities faring the best. It was another tough month for some big U.S. names such as Apple and Facebook, which were down by 18% and 7% respectively. Within other asset classes, government bonds saw their yields decline, high yield spreads widened significantly whereas the price of oil dropped by 22%. The major currencies ended the month relatively unchanged as did the price of gold.

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November 2018 || Newsletter

Investment Perspective

October lived up to its reputation of being a volatile month for equity markets reflected by the 7.9% drop of the MSCI World Index, in local currency terms. The rout was widespread as stock markets across the world were hit by fears over slowing growth, trade wars and higher interest rates. For once, American equities failed to offer any additional resistance than the other markets and a number of technology favourites, such as Amazon and Netflix, suffered from heavy selling. The fall of the equity market showed a lot of similarity to the one that took place in late January/early February; equities suddenly dived following a period of fast rising Treasury yields whereas safe haven assets did not benefit that much from the sell off; 10-year Treasury yields ended the month 8bps higher and the price of gold appreciated by less than 2%.

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October 2018 || Newsletter

Investment Perspective

Global equity markets ended September with modest gains following a weak start to the month. For once, Japanese equities were the outperformers while emerging market equities showed some signs of stabilisation, even if ending the month a little lower. A higher appetite for risk was reflected by the rise of the safest sovereign debt yields and a tightening of spreads for high-yield and emerging market bonds (- 38bps on the J.P. Morgan EMBI Global Spread Index). As to be expected in such a context, the Swiss franc and the Japanese yen depreciated against other major currencies.

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September 2018 || Newsletter

Investment Perspective

August was a mixed month for global equity markets as the MSCI World Local Currency Index’s 1.1% gain was only the result of higher U.S. equity prices; in contrast, the Euro Stoxx 50 Index lost 3.8%, the Topix 1% and the MSCI EM Index 2.9%, in dollar terms, due to concerns about the ongoing trade dispute and the stress in emerging markets. This higher aversion to risk was also reflected by the significant strength of the Swiss franc, which appreciated by 2.9% against the euro, and by lower yields on U.S. Treasuries and Bunds. Emerging market bonds were badly impacted by EM currency weakness, with the J.P. Morgan EMBI Global Spread Index widening by 46bps to 400bps.

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August 2018 || Newsletter

Investment Perspective

July was a strong month for global equity markets as the MSCI World Local Currency Index gained 3.1%, with positive performances recorded across most regions. Concerns about the trade war took a back seat as investors focused on the supportive reporting of second quarter earnings, especially in the U.S. This higher appetite for risk assets was also reflected by the rise of sovereign debt yields, with that of the 10-year U.S. Treasury note moving back close to 3%, and gold continuing to drift lower.

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Perspectivas de inversión, Julio de 2018

En esta publicación semestral repasaremos las expectativasEn esta publicación semestral repasaremos las expectativasde enero y analizaremos algunos de los principalesindicadores económicos actuales antes de definir laasignación de activos que recomendamos para el segundo semestre.

Nuestro posicionamiento a comienzos del año ha sido cauto

Nuestro posicionamiento de las carteras a principios de 2018ha sido un tanto cauto, con un nivel de liquidez superior a lamedia y una exposición moderadamente sobreponderada ala clase activos de renta variable. Sostuvimos que 2018 seríaun año más complicado para la renta variable, y esto es loque ha sucedido en gran medida. Nuestra previsión de quelos rendimientos de los bonos aumentarían paulatinamentese ha visto justificada en el caso de los títulos del Tesoro deEE. UU., pero no en el de los principales bonos europeos.

Nos abstuvimos de destinar efectivo a la renta variabledurante la espectacular recuperación experimentada enenero, puesto que consideramos que se había producidouna sobrecompra en los mercados y los inversores habíanadoptado una actitud demasiado optimista. Mientrasque los activos tradicionales se esfuerzan por producirrendimientos positivos en la actual situación inestable de losmercados, el papel de las estrategias alternativas ha cobradomayor importancia, como fuente de una rentabilidad nocorrelacionada y para reforzar la resistencia de las carteras.

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June 2018 || Newsletter

Investment Perspective

May was eventful as an early-month rally of equity markets was derailed by a flare-up of political and geopolitical risks, with Italy being in the eye of the storm. Safe haven assets, including U.S. Treasuries, Bunds, the Swiss franc and the yen, rallied whereas the ongoing appreciation of the dollar accelerated. Emerging markets’ assets remained under pressure due to a mix of rising Treasury yields, a stronger dollar as well as idiosyncratic issues in countries such as Turkey and Argentina. Global financial markets were also impacted by geopolitical headlines related to the tensions over trade between the United States and China, the U.S. pull-out from the Iran nuclear deal and the holding or not of the U.S./North Korea summit.

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May 2018 || Newsletter

Investment Perspective

A number of trend reversals were observed during April as European equities outperformed and as the dollar started to rebound; G-7 sovereign debt also returned to its early-year trend of rising yields, with U.S. Treasuries recording the steepest moves. When looking at year-to-date returns of regional equity indices, European equities have more than made up their underperformance relative to U.S. and emerging markets. Part of this catch-up can be explained by the rebound of the dollar, which appreciated by 2% against the euro during April. Japanese equities also performed well during the month as the Topix Index gained 3.6%, helped by the 2.8% depreciation of the yen vs. the dollar.

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April 2018 || Newsletter

Investment Perspective

March was another tumultuous month for equity markets, which have moved from an early-year state of euphoria to a state of confusion. With a lack of news related to the profitability of companies, stocks have been hurt by concerns about a trade war, reshuffles within the White House and a series of negative developments relative to the technology sector. Maybe surprisingly, defensive assets have not benefited that much from the volatility of stock markets; gold was virtually unchanged, government bond yields have drifted only a little lower while the Swiss franc and the yen, the perennial safe haven currencies, barely varied over the month.

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March 2018 || Newsletter

Investment Perspective

Financial markets were shaken out of their comfort zone in early February as global equity markets were severely impacted by a sudden spike of volatility and by fast-rising bond yields. Even if these factors were the main reasons for the turbulence of the markets, it is fair to affirm that equity markets were ripe for a correction as they had become extremely overbought and had been boosted by massive inflows during January.

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February 2018 || Newsletter

Investment Perspective

Global equity markets got off to a spectacular start in 2018 as investors poured into equity funds at a record pace. In contrast, government bond markets have remained under pressure with yield curves gradually shifting higher and also steepening. The end-2017 weakness of the U.S. dollar against most currencies accelerated throughout January, reflected by a monthly drop of 3.3% for the dollar index.

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Perspectivas de inversión, Enero de 2018

2017 ha sido un buen año para la economía global, y excepcional para los mercados de renta variable

La economía global experimentó su mayor tasa de crecimiento desde 2011. El aspecto más destacado ha sido el hecho de que el crecimiento fue generalizado y las expectativas se modificaron al alza durante el año. Las tensiones geopolíticas, que en ocasiones presentaron una amenaza, no amortiguaron los elevados niveles de confianza empresarial y de los consumidores y su impacto en los mercados de capitales fue transitorio. Las preocupaciones acerca de los acontecimientos políticos europeos no se materializaron, ya que los partidos políticos populistas no llegaron a generar un vuelco en varias elecciones generales. Asimismo, el espectacular ascenso al poder de Emmanuel Macron en Francia se consideró un importante estímulo para la estabilidad futura de la Unión Europea. 

Los mercados de renta variable se comportaron de manera inusualmente tranquila durante 2017, con una rentabilidad empresarial sólida y generalizada y amplia liquidez que apuntalaron los precios más elevados de la renta variable; la volatilidad se situó de modo sistemático a niveles próximos a los mínimos históricos y no se observaron perturbaciones significativas. Podría decirse que los mercados de bonos fueron algo más tempestuosos, aunque permanecieron en márgenes relativamente estrechos. Sorprendentemente, el euro resultó ser la más sólida de las principales divisas, impulsado por un escenario político mucho más estable de lo previsto en Europa.     

 

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