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When the risk appetite of investors is tapered due to changing market sentiment, they choose ‘flight to quality’ investments such as safe-haven-assets, such as Gold, to protect their investment portfolio against further losses. A move that has long been as visible as during the month of May, 2019.
The Main Markets
Stock markets ended the month discernibly lower across the globe with their worst monthly return since December 2018. Average global stock returns at end of May:
- US Tech -9%
- Japan -8%
- EM -8%
- US S&P 500 -6%
- Europe -6%
- China -6%
The US-China Trade War is continuing and additionally we have been
taken by surprise by the announcement of the US planning to impose
tariffs on Mexico in the coming weeks resulting in yet a further
downturn in the market. May also marked a price fall in commodities, led
by oil which dropped 8% on a week and a cumulative of 15% over the
month of May. Since the financial crisis, the 3m/10y yield curve is the
most negative at -20bps. This is contrary to the 2m/10y curve which,
despite falling yields, in fact steepened last week with the news that
it is highly likely that the Fed will indeed impose further rate cuts
(near to 100% probability) despite their dovish stance a few months ago.