Q1 2014 – A reasonable result for investors, all things considered…….
The first quarter of 2014 contained some surprises which few investors would have foreseen as they returned to their desks in January. Who would have thought that equities would underperform government bonds, particularly in light of equities’ strong momentum entering the year and the ongoing Quantitative Easing (QE) taper in the US which should have held government bond markets in check? Similarly, who would have predicted that commodities and Japanese equities would have been the best and worst performers in the quarter (see table 1 below), a sharp role reversal from the trend on view in 2013?
Q4 2013 - Irish National Accounts
At a headline level investors might be a little disappointed with the Q4 National Accounts which were released by the Central Statistics Office (CSO) this morning. Irish GDP was 2.3% lower in the fourth quarter meaning that for the year as a whole Irish GDP fell by 0.3%.
Markets bounce back in February but Emerging Market concerns linger
February proved to be a better month for investors as markets recovered strongly following a difficult opening to 2014. World equity markets returned almost 3% in euro terms while bond and commodity markets also posted gains.
Russia and the Ukraine - what should investors make of events?
Winston Churchill’s comment that Russia was “a riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma”, could easily have been applied to the Ukraine in recent days. From an investor’s perspective, it’s best to focus on two key angles associated with the crisis: •Firstly, what options exist for the Ukrainian economy and does the crisis have broader ramifications for emerging markets? and, •Secondly, how might the political calculus develop and how might this affect investment markets?
Investors nurse a January hangover
Investment markets hit a speed bump in January with equity markets in particular struggling.World stock markets lost around 2% in euro terms over the month although a weaker euro helped mitigate investor losses.