Despite a rocky midpoint, global equities eked out a solid gain of 3.6% during Q2 and rose 16.23% in the first half of 2019. Here’s our recap of the quarter.
Twitter Policy: With the infamous “tweet heard around the world” on May 5th, President Trump once again pivoted to a more bellicose stance in the trade war with China.
Fed Signaled Easing: On June 4th Fed Chair Jay Powell indicated that they were open to cutting interest rates, in response to declining inflation expectations and further evidence of slowing global growth.
Developed Markets: European equities were boosted by a more dovish pivot by the ECB. Japanese equities continued to face headwinds from declining global trade and a poor fiscal environment.
USD: The overvalued U.S. dollar went nowhere, caught in the crosswinds of unfavorable structural dynamics (growing twin deficits and poor valuation), a favorable cyclical tailwind from superior U.S. growth and a U.S. administration clearly focused on jawboning the dollar down.
Oil: Oil prices declined by almost 3% during the quarter as markets continued to work through the lingering effects of last year’s tightening in financial conditions, which, along with extended angst over Sino-U.S. trade tensions, slowed commodity demand.