Investor optimism spread over the second quarter as economies around the world continued to reopen and many aspects of our lives returned to normal. Successful vaccination programmes and stimulus measures across the developed world improved the global outlook.
No one could have predicted the outbreak of COVID-19 and the subsequent measures taken to contain it. The economic impacts of the pandemic reach far and wide but it isn’t all doom and gloom.
Financial markets have been on a rollercoaster over the past year. There was a sharp drop in March as countries locked down and then a swift upswing followed, led by technology shares. Even unloved companies, particularly banks and energy firms, have rebounded lately, thanks to good news about vaccines.
Rather than try to reduce it by austerity, inflation or default, the government should focus on keeping the rate of economic growth above the cost of servicing the debt.
As COVID-19 continues to affect our lives and influence economic activity around the world, there’s lots of uncertainty about what the future holds. Localised outbreaks and lockdowns are possible anywhere until a vaccine is found, with the level of unemployment likely to be the key factor driving the pace of the recovery over the next couple of years.
Depending on what lens you choose, the value of equities can vary widely. We’ve looked through as many as we can, and we’re maintaining a vigilant optimism.
With the groundwork laid for a rapid recovery, equity markets reflected continued optimism in June. But as chief investment officer Julian Chillingworth notes, significant risks remain.
Sparring with travel providers over COVID kerfuffles brings home the importance of customer service for head of multi-asset investments David Coombs. For him, it’s worth paying for.