MARKET UPDATE – JULY 2021
Global equities marched higher over the course of the month, rising by 4.6% in euro terms to stand +15.9% year to date. The mix within equities was stark though, the rally being driven by technology (+9.3%), with a 7.3% gain for the MSCI Growth Index vs just 1.7% for MSCI Value Index (all figures in euro terms).
There were two main reasons for the dispersion of returns, the primary one being the push-back on inflation narrative that has gripped markets for the last couple of months, falling inflation expectations and a drift lower in bond yields. A secondary factor was the rise of the Covid delta variant, with its associated threat to the more rapid reopening which had been priced into the cyclical sectors of the market. A slightly hawkish twist at the June FOMC meeting, where the median Fed member now expects 2 rate hikes by the end of 2023 (the so called dot plot) led to some volatility across asset classes but comments from Chair Powell that investors should take this revised dot plot “with a big grain of salt” had a calming effect.