A look back at markets in Q4, when shares were supported by optimism over the prospects for a US-China trade deal.
The geopolitical risks that dominated markets for much of 2019 faded in Q4, helping global equity markets to post gains. In fixed income, corporate bonds performed well amid the improved investor sentiment.
US equities made robust gains in Q4 as trade uncertainty faded with the US and China’s “phase one” trade deal announcement. The Federal Reserve cut interest rates once in the quarter before indicating that "the current stance of monetary policy is appropriate".
Eurozone shares advanced, supported by signs of better economic data from Germany as well as optimism surrounding the US and China trade deal. Christine Lagarde took over as president of the European Central Bank.
UK shares gained. Domestically focused areas of the market performed well amid reduced near-term political uncertainty, following the landslide general election victory for the Conservative Party.
Japanese shares ended higher and the yen weakened slightly against the US dollar. Economic data continued to show a significant divergence between the strength in service sectors and the weakness in manufacturing.
Emerging market equities posted a strong gain. The easing trade tensions benefitted China, South Korea and Taiwan. A pick-up in crude oil prices was supportive of the Russian and Colombian markets.
Bond markets reflected the better mood as government bond yields rose (i.e. prices fell) and corporate bonds performed well.
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