A Reluctant Rally
Early 2019 saw a strong rebound in equity markets. In the final quarter of 2018, the Fed’s rhetoric on rate hikes, concerns about global growth, and fears over the U.S.-China trade dispute sent most major asset classes down, but in the first quarter of 2019, a reversal took place as the same concerns faded.
The Fed pointed to global economic risks and muted inflation pressure, as it shifted back to a more accommodative tone. The ECB and China were also more dovish, with China rolling out stimulus measures. Together with optimism on trade talks, these shifts in tone seemed to outweigh concerns over weaker economic data and continued challenges for earnings growth, and equities moved sharply higher.
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