June was yet another month full of surprises for markets and economies, but with a modicum of normality re-emerging. Lockdowns being lifted and adjusting to a new normal is at the forefront of investors’ minds as we reach the halfway point of 2020 and hope for a better second half!
The US stock market rally continued and remarkably recorded its best quarterly return in over 20 years. Yes. You read that right, 20 years! But it was Asian and emerging markets that led the rally in June (Source FE Analytics), as investors took advantage of depressed valuations due to negative sentiment, despite many regions still being in the eye of the pandemic.
The UK stock market remains a laggard and it has been one of the worst performing markets during the first half of 2020 (Source FE Analytics). Is it the UK’s obsession with dividends (and now more the lack thereof) that has caused the disappointing performance? Or maybe investors have started to remember (and worry) about Brexit? Whatever it is, the UK offers some of the cheapest valuations around, in relative terms.
Some of the most interesting conversations we have had this month have been with bond managers (yes, bond managers really can be interesting!). The consensus is that we are in a prolonged low interest rate environment (what else is new, you may think). Central banks have indicated that there will be no interest rate rises for years and some fund managers believe this could go on for a decade…
The information in this post is not financial advice, it is provided solely to help you make your own investment decisions. If you are unsure about whether an investment is appropriate for you, please seek professional financial advice. You can find more information here.
When you invest you should remember that the value of investments, and the income from them, can go down as well as up and that past performance is no guarantee of future return.