The week in review

The week of 20 February 2023 saw stronger than expected inflation and economic growth reports and a more hawkish stance from central banks, leading to widespread declines in markets.
Published 28 February
3 mins

What’s happened in markets?

FTSE All Share-1.411.555.405.9610.835.845.14
Euro Stoxx 50-2.240.766.1210.4913.157.727.32
S&P 500-2.66-1.00-1.013.65-5.888.889.53
Japan Topix-0.180.79-1.325.129.948.454.92
MSCI Asia Pac.-2.67-6.445.131.82-12.400.88-0.67
MSCI Emerg. Mkts.-2.74-6.423.201.72-13.05-0.04-1.72
Jo’burg All Shares-2.94-3.855.475.418.7316.409.54
UK Gov’t Bonds-1.03-3.36-5.88-0.36-19.97-9.19-3.09
US Gov’t Bonds-0.77-2.67-0.39-0.17-9.61-3.800.31
Global Corp. Bonds-0.81-2.440.390.94-8.32-3.261.08
Emerg. Mkt. Local-0.60-3.744.201.25-7.27-3.93-1.78
Figures in the respective local currencies as at the end of trading on 24/2/2023.

Purchasing managers’ index (PMI) results from around the globe came out broadly higher than expected with an increase in the services component making up for the slack in manufacturing. But in the current environment, strong economic data is bad news for interest rates as central banks are likely to keep them higher for longer.

In the US, markets suffered a further upset on Friday when the personal consumption expenditures (PCE) price index rose 0.6% in January and was up 4.7% year on year. The December figure was 4.6% and Wall Street had been expecting a decline to 4.4%. The PCE is the Federal Reserve’s (Fed) preferred measure of core inflation, excluding more volatile food and energy components, and suggests inflation could be stickier than anticipated.

In the euro area, inflation continued to slow to an annual rate of 8.6% in January, down from 9.2% in December. Economic data was better than expected with preliminary PMI readings showing an expansion in economic activity.

The UK PMI readings for February also revealed that business activity in both the manufacturing and services sectors showed a surprise return to growth.

Geopolitical instability ramped up last week as 24 February marked the one-year anniversary of the war in Ukraine. Russia announced it was unilaterally suspending its participation in the new START nuclear arms control treaty with the US. The treaty, signed in Prague in 2010, caps the number of strategic nuclear warheads that the US and Russia can deploy. North Korea also appeared to be baiting the US as it confirmed the test of an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) over Japan and threatened to use the Pacific as a “firing range” if the US continued its discussions with South Korea.

In corporate news, the share price of Nvidia, a world leader in artificial intelligence computing, increased after the company reported higher revenue and net income than Wall Street expected for its fourth quarter.

The week of 20 February saw risk off sentiment lingering in markets as central bank rhetoric and economic indicators increased the expected peak in interest rates. The recent rally lost more steam as most benchmarks ended in negative territory. Developed market equites (-0.6%) remained ahead of emerging markets (-4.9%), while growth (-0.2%) continued to outperform value (-1.8%) over the short term. Information technology (+2.4%) and consumer discretionary (+0.2%) were the strongest sectors over the last 30 days, with materials (-4.9%) the worst. The more defensive sectors, healthcare (-2.6%), energy (-4.3%) and utilities (-4.8%) continued to lag.

Following a strong January, the fixed income market has been more challenging in February. Yields continued to rise with the high duration parts of the market falling in value most.

The US dollar appreciated slightly against most major currencies over the week.




UK GDP (QoQ)0.0
UK PMI53.053.0
UK CPI (YoY)10.1
EU GDP (QoQ)0.1
EU PMI52.352.3
EU CPI (YoY)8.6
US GDP (QoQ)2.7
US PMI55.254.5
US CPI (YoY)6.45.9

What’s happened in portfolios?

Within equities, our focus on quality strategies has benefited from the outperformance of the more defensive, quality managers. They have performed well overall, particularly against the MSCI All Country World Index (ACWI).

In fixed income, the hawkish comments from Fed officials have pushed yields higher with our longer duration assets underperforming over the short term. However, as the lag effect of monetary policy tightening is reflected in slower growth, we should see better performance.

In our real assets holdings, Greencoat UK Wind announced impressive full year results with total return on the net asset value (NAV) up +31.3%, net cash generation of over £560 million and dividend cover at 3.1 times. The dividend was up by 13.4% year on year as it maintains an RPI-linked target.

Finally, within our alternative strategies, it has been encouraging to see a bounce back in both our private equity holdings, Princess Private Equity and Oakley Capital Investments, over recent weeks.

What's happening this week?

28 February • US Consumer Confidence | 2 March • EU Inflation Rate | 3 March • UK S&P Global Services Purchasing Managers’ Index

Clients of Nedbank Private Wealth can get in touch with their private banker directly to understand how their portfolios are responding to market events, or call +44 (0)1624 645000 to speak to our client services team.

If you would like to find out more about how we manage clients’ investments, please contact us on the same number as above. Or you can get in touch using the links to the forms towards the end of this page.

Sources: Nedbank Private Wealth and (1) Bloomberg, (2) Reuters and (3) Eurostat

The value of investments can fall, as well as rise, and you might not get back the original amount invested. Exchange rate changes affect the value of investments. Past performance is not necessarily a guide to future returns. Any individual investment or security mentioned may be included in clients’ portfolios and is referenced for illustrative purposes only, not as a recommendation, not least as it may not be suitable. You should always seek professional advice before making any investment decisions.

Access more of our insights


The week in review

21 Mar

   |   4 mins

The week of 13 March 2023 was another volatile week for markets as further upheaval in the banking sector raised fears of a steeper economic slowdown and hopes of an easing of central bank rate hikes.


The week in review

14 Mar

   |   4 mins

The week of 6 March 2023 saw markets down sharply, as hawkish talk from the Federal Reserve and strong US jobs data early in the week were eclipsed by events in the financial sector.


February's investment market commentary

10 Mar

   |   2½ mins

February saw a reversal of some of the strong gains made in the prior month, with both global equity and bond markets falling during the period. Simon Watts explains.


The week in review

21 Feb

   |   4 mins

The week of 13 February 2023 saw a fresh twist in the market narrative, as investors realised that high interest rates will be an unwelcome presence for longer than expected.

Get in touch

If you are interested in becoming a client, please complete the form via the ‘become a client’ button below. Alternatively, if you are already a client, or if you have a question about how we help clients in particular circumstances, please use the ‘contact us’ button.


We will get back to you as soon as we can during office hours, which are Monday to Friday, 8am to 8pm (UK time), except for UK public holidays.

Become a Client

Thank you for your interest in Nedbank Private Wealth. Please call us on +44 (0)1624 645000 or complete the requested information and one of our team will get back to you soon. We look forward to speaking with you.  Please note: If you are an EU resident, we are unfortunately unable to offer our services to you at present.

* Required fields

Contact Us

Please call us today on +44 (0)1624 645000. Our office hours are weekdays from 8am to 8pm (UK time), except for UK public holidays.


Or please complete and submit the below form and one of the team will get back to you as requested.

* Required fields

Search suggestions