z-kolkiemz-kolkiem

The week in review

The MSCI AC World was down -2.8% in Sterling terms and -3.3% in US Dollar terms, as emerging markets led the declines, while developed markets held up slightly better. But all eyes were really on the bond market as we detail here.
Share on facebook
Share on linkedin
Share on twitter
Share on email
Published 2 March
2 mins

What’s happened in markets?

KEY MARKET MOVEMENTS (% change)
 1WK1MO3MOYTD1YR3YR5YR
FTSE All Share-1.632.005.071.173.791.235.88
Euro Stoxx 50-2.074.574.482.6512.135.247.89
S&P500-2.412.765.621.7131.2714.1416.82
Japan Topix-3.323.116.423.3526.424.229.99
MSCI Asia Pac.-6.171.2512.605.2942.339.5617.20
MSCI Emerg. Mkts.-6.330.7711.553.7836.456.7215.68
Jo’burg All Shares-1.975.8716.1011.3833.327.689.32
UK Gov’t Bonds-1.44-5.66-5.75-7.26-4.223.202.87
US Gov’t Bonds-0.30-1.81-2.98-2.75-0.134.962.58
Global Corp. Bonds-0.47-1.45-1.74-2.232.866.235.56
Emerg. Mkt. Local-2.14-2.56-0.84-3.843.421.785.59

Figures in the respective local currencies as at the end of trading on 26/2/2021.

There was positive news on the pandemic front as the number of hospitalisations and deaths continues to improve in line with the inoculation rollouts. These are set to improve still further as the Johnson & Johnson single dose vaccine received approval for emergency use in the US. Not only will its rollout help increase the number of vaccinations that can take place, as it is another vaccine approved for use, but it is also likely to significantly help given only one dose is needed and it can be stored in regular fridges.

The week of 22 February saw a slew of economic data releases as the US Conference Board’s consumer confidence index rose to a stronger-than-expected 91.3 in February, its highest level in three months. US new home sales also came in higher than expected, as did the latest weekly jobless claims data, with the continuing claims number coming in at a post pandemic low. In the UK, the unemployment rate for the previous three months to December ticked up to 5.1%, as expected. And finally, February’s Eurozone flash composite purchasing managers’ indexes came in at 48.1 in February, and while this is in contraction territory, the manufacturing index provides promise, given this number rose to 57.9 as new orders were up sharply with export trade strengthening.

The main interest, however, focused on the central banks as officials sought to soothe volatile markets in anticipation of interest rates rising to head off inflation. As such, Federal Reserve (Fed) chair, Jay Powell, highlighted that although the Fed expects “enthusiastic” spending to increase inflation in the short term, this spending is not likely to be particularly large or persistent, meaning that labour markets rather than inflation risks remain the primary focus. Powell also stated that it could take more than three years before the Fed reached its inflation goal of 2%. We also heard from the European Central Bank’s chief economist, Philip Lane, who said that the central bank would “purchase flexibly according to market conditions and with a view to preventing a tightening of financing conditions” and, as such, may increase its pace of emergency bond purchases to counter the recent sell-off in Eurozone sovereign debt markets.

In markets, Asia ex Japan (-5.64%) and Emerging Markets (-5.81%) lead the declines, while the US (-2.29%), Europe (-1.73%) and the UK (-1.41%) held up slightly better. Sector-wise, value (-1.00%) performed better than growth (-4.48%), with energy (+2.22%) the best and only sector in the black. This would be expected however, given the sector often does well when investors are worried about inflationary pressures. Small capitalisation stocks (-1.67%) retracted less than their large peers (-2.76%).

ECONOMICS  
 Latest

Consensus

Forecast

UK GDP (QoQ)1
UK PMI49.849.8
UK CPI (YoY)0.7
EU GDP (QoQ)-036
EU PMI48.148.1
EU CPI (YoY)0.90.9
US GDP (QoQ)4.1
US PMI58.7
US CPI (YoY)1.4

 

What’s happened in portfolios?

With interest rates rising as markets anticipate a greater risk of inflation, the investment committee considered the potential for these increases to develop into a trend and, ahead of any significant market moves, further shortened our already short duration within fixed income. This was achieved by selling medium-dated US government bonds and investment grade credit, and buying short duration US treasuries.

We also took the opportunity to marginally trim our equity positions, taking some profits, and bringing the asset class back to its target weights after a week that saw our equity strategies outperforming their indices – a result that was also true of February as a whole.

Meanwhile, our alternative investment trusts were a mixed bag, with some getting caught up in the market jitters. Meanwhile, the funds with significant UK earnings, such as Greencoat UK Wind, were impacted by the media reports suggesting the UK chancellor may raise corporation tax on budget day on 3 March. And the Hipgnosis team came in for criticism for its “aggressive” share issuance and acquisition programmes. Property trusts held up well given the market is still digesting the share discount used to support Target Healthcare’s fund raising, and since the BMO Property Trust remains significantly off the true value of its portfolio.

What's happening this week?

3 Mar • UK Budget | 4 Mar • EU Retail Sales | 5 Mar • US Average Hourly Earnings

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) Reuters; (2) US Department of Labor; (3) Bloomberg; and (4) Markit Research.

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

Investing

Options for uncertain investors

19 Oct

   |   7½ mins

Many clients hesitate to invest. They have often realised the reasons why, but want to hold back given we live in uncertain times. Rebecca Cretney highlights the points she raises in her conversations, as well as the advantages and disadvantages for the options to be considered.

Investing

The week in review

19 Oct

   |   5½ mins

The week of 11 October saw inflation increase higher than had been expected in the US and raised the prospects of action by the Federal Reserve in its November meeting. Meanwhile, growth forecasts for developed markets were cut slightly as supply chain issues continue.

Investing

September's investment market commentary

18 Oct

   |   2 mins

During September, the economic and corporate environment remained positive, however some equity sectors are beginning to look fully valued.

Investing

The week in review

12 Oct

   |   5½ mins

The week of 4 October saw persistent inflation amid signs of slowing economic growth, with fears of stagflation stoked. While the US announced a disappointing new job number for September, but a fall in unemployment.

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