As keen observers of financial markets, we often reflect on the fickleness of investors' sentiment and the oftentimes wild gyrations in asset prices that accompany it. In the last quarterly commentary, we highlighted some of the markets’ worries and how eventually ‘fear’ caused a sharp fall in equity markets into the year end. Only a few months later, the S&P 500 has risen +15% to the end of March (in euro terms) and is close to its September 2018 lifetime peak. European markets have experienced a similarly steep recovery from their December lows. It seems that markets are seeking the silver lining to the previously-identified clouds.
On the monetary policy side, after its recent rate hike, the US Federal Reserve bank has taken a much more ‘dovish’ stance. In Europe the European Central Bank extended its targeted long term repurchase operation, providing support to many financial assets. In the world of the real economy, the signals are mixed, as global trade and European economies slow, while some US indicators flash amber.
We are pleased to report that the Setanta investment strategies performed very strongly in the first quarter of 2019, notwithstanding their resilience in the last quarter of 2018. The Setanta fund commentaries analyse the principal drivers of fund performance, review portfolio activity and describe the positioning of the funds looking ahead.