After a strong April, May felt somewhat of a mixed bag for investors, particularly when stock markets suffered a correction in the middle of the month. However, as the month draws to a close, it is mostly only cryptocurrency holders and those who had banked on a warm and sunny May in Northern Europe who are still feeling the pain.
After a long quiet spell, Europe is capturing investor interest once again, with the green shoots of a recovery now coming through. After a desperately slow start, vaccination programmes on the continent have stepped up greatly, with ever more jabs set to be delivered in the coming weeks. That, combined with warmer weather and a slowing spread of the virus, is thawing the freeze on economic activity as businesses start to reopen...
With the success of the vaccination programme, shops and restaurants have begun to re-open and outdoor activities are in full swing; life is looking a little brighter. Over the last couple of months, the team has celebrated a big birthday, a new member of staff and the end of the 2020/21 tax year! It has been nice making a slow return to the office with a Covid-friendly staff rota, and regular lateral-flow testing.
Markets have certainly lost a bit of that exuberance displayed in recent weeks. However, the risen inflation expectations that have been blamed for the sell-off, are now merely – at last – reflecting what the US Federal Reserve (Fed) had told markets to expect since the beginning of the year. Moreover, the global economy continues to motor towards a post pandemic recovery boom. Therefore, we view this sell-off as more to do with market participants experiencing a wave of vertigo, rather than a fundamental change of direction.
There has been a great political awakening across the world in recent years. The issues of the day have become visceral divisions. These arguments have had significant impacts on all aspects of our lives, including capital markets. In the UK, this has been most evidently played out in the great Brexit drama which, aside from its impacts on foreign investment and asset valuations, has been the main driving force behind the value of Sterling.
Whatever age you are, wherever you are on life’s journey, it’s human nature to live in the moment and cope with whatever challenges life throws at you. Selecting the most appropriate investments to align with your values and life goals requires undertaking the right planning to accumulate wealth over the long term.
After last week’s lull in global equity markets, most regions recovered their previous highs this week, albeit in somewhat lacklustre trading patterns. Just as there were several reasons why markets were in a bad mood last week, there are many reasons for the more positive outlook this week.