The stock markets have taken investors on a roller coaster ride. 2018 began with enthusiasm for global stock markets. Strong corporate earnings and positive economic data helped many indices hit multiple new all-time highs in the first weeks of 2018, but sentiment shifted quickly. Anxiety over rising bond yields was a key driver for an early-year correction in all major markets.
A number of events moved markets and drew headlines in the first half of 2018. In the US, the Federal Reserve raised interest rates twice by 0.25% and continues to signal that further quarterly rate hikes are looming.During the same period, the European Central Bank announced that it would from its asset purchase program in December 2018 but leave interest rates on hold until the summer of 2019.
In addition, the US and China entered into a tit-for-tat match of proposed tariffs on a broad array of goods, leaving investors concerned about the potential negative effects that an escalating trade war could have on global economic growth.
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Equity H1 2018