First Quarter | 2024

The first quarter of 2024 saw a divergence in fortunes between equity and fixed income markets. Equities continued surging forward thanks to resilient global economic data while bonds suffered from rising yields. Strong corporate earnings, positive sentiment around the potentially transformational impact of artificial intelligence, and expectations of eventual rate cuts also provided fuel to rocket equities higher. From a regional perspective, developed markets continued to outperform their emerging market peers mainly due to continued economic challenges in China.

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Fourth Quarter | 2023

The last quarter of 2023 was a stellar period for equity and bond markets with strong returns across both asset classes. Equities and bonds moved higher as bond yields decreased and market participants became increasingly optimistic about the possibility of central banks achieving a soft landing. At this point we have seen inflation wane without a significant effect on economic growth, the goldilocks scenario for markets, though the delayed effects of monetary policy may still be working their way through the economy. Central banks such as the Bank of Canada and U.S. Federal Reserve kept policy interest rates steady during the period and while it is by no means a foregone conclusion, the market is anticipating interest rate cuts in Canada and the U.S. in 2024.

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Third Quarter | 2023

After starting off positive, global equity markets finished the quarter in negative territory as developments in the period took some wind out of the markets’ sails. Market sentiment was impacted by the U.S. Federal Reserve indicating that interest rates may remain higher for longer, prompting a rise in bond yields across the curve. The U.S. dollar has also been strong, as the U.S. economy hasn’t witnessed the degree of weakness seen in other parts of the world. The third quarter ultimately saw the return of simultaneous declines of bonds and equities.

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Second Quarter | 2023

Globally, equity markets continued to be resilient in the second quarter, with U.S. equites being among the stronger performers. U.S. equity strength was driven by a handful of large technology-focused companies, including some that have been in the spotlight as notable advancements in artificial intelligence dominated news headlines. Meanwhile, Chinese equities declined in the quarter as growth anticipated from the lift in COVID-19 restrictions fell short of expectations.

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