Market Update – February 2019

Global – A trade peace?

US equities continued to improve in February as economic data indicated a stable economy. GDP growth quarter-on-quarter for Q4 came in at 2.6% which was an improvement on economists’ forecasts of 2.2% but considerably lower than Q3 growth of 3.4%. Growth in Q1 2019 is expected to reflect a slowdown in the economy. Employment levels remained buoyant.

Markets continued to enjoy their winning streak, bolstered by renewed hopes for a US/China trade war settlement together with the Federal Reserve’s confirmation of a more dovish approach to interest rate policy. The US has temporarily suspended the imposition of increased tariffs on $200 billion of Chinese goods that was scheduled to be imposed from 1 March. The Dow Jones Industrial Average returned a positive 3.7% followed by the S&P 500 which returned 3.0%.

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