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March’s investment market commentary

March, as with the quarter as a whole, posted strong returns for riskier assets. Equity markets continued their rise, albeit with some notable sector rotation along the way, which Tom Caddick’s update explains.
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Published 14 April
3 mins

March, as with the quarter as a whole, posted strong returns for risk assets. Equity markets continued their rise, albeit with some notable sector rotation along the way, with the S&P500 reaching new highs and settling above the historic 4,000 level. All this was against a backdrop of rising COVID-19 rates in large parts of Europe, India and South America and fears of further restrictions. But the overarching COVID-19 narrative remained focused on the vaccine rollout that continued to build momentum, with both the US and UK leading the way and shedding a tantalising light on the potential for a vaccine led recovery.

And recovery was at the forefront with indicators pointing towards a sharp uptick in global economic activity, the US in particular showing signs of a pronounced recovery with payroll numbers towards the end of the month surprising on the upside. This continues a trend of falling unemployment and rising production.

Bond markets continued to show signs of weakness at the longer end albeit without quite the same pronounced shift in yields that we saw earlier in the quarter. Our favoured area of short duration high yield managed to protect against much of the weakness.

INDEXEND FEBRUARY VALUEEND MARCH VALUE
FTSE 1006483.436713.63
DJ Ind. Average30932.3732981.55
S&P Comp3811.153972.89
Nasdaq 10012909.4413091.44
Nikkei28966.0129178.8
£/$1.39331.3783
€/£0.867030.85106
€/$1.20751.173
£ Base Rate0.100.10
Brent Crude64.4262.74
Gold1734.041707.71

This month’s values quoted as at 31/03/2021. The above values are sourced from Bloomberg and are quoted in the relevant currency.

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

 

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

Investments can go down, as well as up, to the extent that you might get back less than the total you originally invested. Exchange rates also impact the value of your investments. Past performance is no guide to future returns. Any individual investment or security mentioned here may not be suitable, and is included for information only and is not a recommendation. You should always seek professional advice before making any investment decisions.

about the author

Tom Caddick

Tom Caddick

Tom joined Nedbank Private Wealth as its chief investment officer in March 2021. Prior to joining, Tom was at Santander Asset Management in London for nine years, where he was, most recently, chief investment officer for the UK business and previously global head of the multi asset division. He has over 20 years’ investment experience, including several years as head of multi manager and fund selection at LV Asset Management.

 

Tom’s responsibilities include heading the London-based investment team, and chairing both the International Strategy Committee and the International Investment Committee. Tom is also part of the international investment team for Nedgroup Investments, a sister company of Nedbank Private Wealth.

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