First Quarter | 2021
The strong performance of global equities continued in the first quarter, fueled, as it was in the fourth quarter, by progress on COVID-19 vaccination programs and the relaxation of pandemic-led restrictions in parts of the world. Due to an improving public health situation and the flood of easy money from unprecedented monetary and fiscal stimulus, many countries appear ready for a rapid economic recovery. But recovery expectations have investors bracing for inflation, leading to a spike in developed-market bond yields that spurred market volatility, though it did not halt investors’ enthusiasm for equities.
Fourth Quarter | 2020
Looking back on a year beset by the coronavirus pandemic, the market’s performance stands out for its incredible comeback from the virus-induced crash in March. The pandemic has left economies reeling as lockdowns have dealt some businesses a severe blow with uncertain prospects for recovery, and millions of people are still relying on government support to make it through a precarious employment period. Yet despite targeted restrictions that could be in place for months to come and many countries grappling with surging COVID-19 infections, investors propelled global stock markets to record highs in the fourth quarter.
Third Quarter | 2020
The market’s Q2 enthusiasm continued in the third quarter, but more investors recognized that valuations have come a long way after the remarkable recovery in equities from the lows of March, leading to shallower gains in Q3.
Second Quarter | 2020
Following the market’s quick plunge into bear territory and ultimate low on March 23, the second quarter of 2020 saw an exuberant rebound.
First Quarter | 2020
The emergence and spread of the COVID-19 virus have precipitated an extraordinary effort to contain the outbreak globally. While these initiatives are of utmost importance in defeating the virus’ spread, they have also resulted in significant economic deterioration, including the closure of businesses, a rise in furlough or unemployment, and have fueled steep declines in risky assets around the world.
Fourth Quarter | 2019
What a stark contrast a year brings. A year ago, in the fourth quarter of 2018, we were in the midst of a sudden, sharp market decline. Interest rates were rising, parts of the yield curve had inverted, and fears of a global recession were rampant. Uncertainty abounded, most notably with respect to the future path of interest rates, U.S./China trade negotiations, and Brexit.
Third Quarter | 2019
Managing through uncertainty is what we do and Q3 of 2019 has proven rife with unpredictability. But this is to be expected in an environment of experimental monetary policy, negative yields/low discount rates, elevated debt levels, inverted yield curves, trade wars, and slowing global economic growth.
Second Quarter | 2019
“Lower rates for longer!” appears to be the new battle cry, as the 180-degree turnabout by many central banks that we wrote about in Q1 has persisted, with numerous banks cutting rates and/or signalling cuts or other expansionary policies to come.
First Quarter | 2019
What a difference a quarter can make! Not a typical statement from us at Mawer given we are long-term investors, but after the steep decline in global equities at the end of 4Q18, stock markets, led by the U.S. and Canada, snapped back in the first three months of 2019.
Fourth Quarter | 2018
After years of generally rising equity markets, 2018 saw broad equity declines with pronounced volatility in the final quarter where markets swung up and down by multiple percentage points on many days. Global equities as measured by the MSCI All-Country World Index dropped 7.8% during the quarter. The main catalysts of the weakness appear to be worries about rising interest rates, trade actions, slowing global economic growth, and the flattening of the U.S. treasury yield curve.