Provided by Mercer - CERS Investment Adviser
The month started with good progress on
vaccination roll-outs in the US and UK and mixed economic data that pointed
towards the recovery maintaining its momentum in spite of short-term weakness.
Markets looked beyond ongoing pandemic-related
restrictions across the globe as well as severe winter weather in the US.
Falling COVID-19 cases across the globe and a slow easing of restrictions in
some western countries fueled optimism that full reopening’s will go ahead in
the spring. However, that optimism over stronger growth was balanced by fears
over more rapid monetary normalisation. Towards the end of the month, this
contributed to a rapid rally in bond yields which disrupted markets.
Global equity markets ended February with positive
returns after a run-up during the first half of the month. Optimism over medium
term growth and an ongoing recovery in corporate profits was weighed against
concerns over rich valuations and the sharp rise in bond yields at month end,
which reduced the value of discounted future cash flows. Global government
bonds had negative returns as attested by rising yields. Downward momentum
gained pace towards the end of the month.
Brent oil prices breached the $60 level for
the first time since January 2020 and other cyclical commodities also rallied
as investors priced in higher demand over the year. Gold had another poor month
as demand for safe havens was weak, but silver rallied sharply earlier in the
month, driven by retail activity before stabilising and ending lower than the
beginning of the month.
Uncertainty remains around ongoing economic
recovery. As countries vaccination procurement and economic re-openings
gather pace, it is expected governments will continue with their support measures,
aiding both consumers and businesses. Central banks are expected to be
supportive for as far as the eye can see, underpinning economic activity via
easy financial conditions.
One big question that remains is what will be
the long lasting impact for the world’s largest economies, if any? How long
will it take for these economies to recover to the point where they would have
been had the virus never hit. In truth, it is too early to tell. On one hand
Governments have taken on an more debt which could potentially hold back the
economy for years to come. On the other hand, accelerated technology use and
development may ultimately boost the economy. Regardless of whether there is
permanent damage, when those economies do recover they will look different, with
some sectors and businesses winning, and some losing. One long term effect of
the COVID-19 shutdowns will be an acceleration in some structural changes.
Scheme Year to date performance is the period from 1 June 2020 to the most recent month shown.
1 Year performance is the cumulative performance of the last 12 months to the most recent month shown.
Multi Asset Fund performance assumes no lifestyling.
Performance shown is net of annual management charge.
The investment choices offered by the Trustee will be regularly reviewed and may be varied from time to time.
Before you choose a fund we recommend that you speak to a Financial Adviser. The CERS Trustee preferred Financial Adviser is Milestone Advisory DAC. You can contact them or your own financial adviser to assist you to review your investment choices. You can contact Milestone Advisory DAC at Canal House, Canal Road, Dublin 6, at email@example.com or call them on 01 4068020. Their website is www.milestoneadvisory.ie .
If you require further information please contact the CERS Team at firstname.lastname@example.org