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“The fourth quarter of 2018 was not only destructive for share prices but also for earnings estimates across all of the world's major equity indices. But with the Fed’s historic pivot on monetary policy and improving data out of Asia, equity markets have shrugged off the carnage of Q4 2018. US equities have almost made a full comeback to last year’s all-time-high level with the S&P 500 only 2% from its September zenith. The drivers are monetary policy, optimism over a US-China trade deal, improving Asia macro figures and with the Q1 earnings season starting this week, maybe a fourth engine can be added to global equities.” says Peter Garnry, Head of Equity Strategy.

Commodities traded lower for a third consecutive week with metals both industrial and precious, as well as with soft commodities, on the receiving end of investor selling. Fortress energy also showed signs of weakness with crude oil, as highlighted last week, being hit by technical selling despite the news flow being predominantly price friendly.

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