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Market Report - February 2017

Market Report

February saw a strong month across global equity markets as a result of encouraging economic data.  US equities posted strong gains following President Trump’s fiscal promises; the S&P 500 added 3.72% while the Nasdaq Composite and Dow Jones index gained 3.75% and 4.77%, respectively.  In the small and mid-cap universe, the Russell 2000 index gained 1.83% with its underlying Growth index adding 2.45% and the Value index increasing by 1.45%. 

European equity markets followed the global trend with macroeconomic data helping drive positive performance.  The Eurostoxx 50 added 2.75% while the DAX index gained 2.59%.  The CAC 40 increased by 2.31%.  The FTSE 100 also rose by 2.31% following a modest loss of 61 bps in January.  Positive economic data was a factor that helped drive gains while a weakening sterling versus the dollar also played a part.

Asian equities continued their positive gains with the Shanghai Composite up 2.61%, while the Hang Seng index gained a further 1.63%.  The yen strengthened slightly against most major currencies which helped the Nikkei gain 0.41% on the month.

The commodities market saw more mixed returns in February.  Gold gained a further 3.11% on the month while copper fell by a modest 30 bps.  The energy sector saw more noticeable volatility as Brent fell by 0.20% and WTI gained 2.27%, natural gas fell a further 11.00% taking its year to date performance to -25.51%.  The overall commodity index saw an increase of 23 bps.

Longer dated US Treasury bond yields saw modest losses, with 10 and 30 year bond yields down 6 bps and 7 bps, respectively.  The shorter dated 2 and 5 year yields gained 6 bps and 2 bps, respectively.

European government bonds saw a fall in yields, with the German 10 year declining 23 bps to 0.21% while the French 10 year fell 15 bps to 0.89%.  Spanish 10 year bond yields gained 6 bps while the Italian 10 year declined from 2.26% to 2.09%.