Finishing 2017 on a Positive Note

Global equity markets finished strong, supported by robust economic growth and benign inflation. See what role markets like the United States and Canada played.

01.30.2018 - Ian Riach, Chief Investment Officer

Finishing 2017 on a Positive Note

Global equity markets finished the year strong, with major indexes providing mid-single-digit returns in the fourth quarter. Fairly robust economic growth and benign inflation combined with the expectation of US tax reform, fuelled broad gains across both developed and emerging markets. Given low inflation data, central banks prolonged their accommodative stances, adding further support to equity prices. The strong economic backdrop overrode geopolitical concerns that dominated news headlines throughout 2017.

The US equity market led western world markets. Consumer related sectors, as well as the Information Technology and Financial Services sectors, bolstered the fairly broad-based rally. In addition to benefiting from improving consumer and business confidence, these sectors were viewed to be the major beneficiaries of tax reform. On the flip side, weakness in pharmaceutical stocks dragged down the Health Care sector’s performance. Large pharmaceutical companies, which generally already pay below-average corporate taxes, also suffered from anticipated regulatory reform that could affect their pricing power.



Inflation Surprise This Spring?

04.30.2018 Giles Marshall, Vice President, Portfolio Manager,

Nine years of economic expansion and inflation nowhere to be seen—until now? We spot inflation sightings and highlight the potential impact on bonds and equity markets.

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Are Central Banks Heading in Different Directions?

01.30.2018 Vincent Tonietto - Vice President, Portfolio Manager

Two key themes for 2018: inflation expectations and shifting monetary policy...

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