Record highs on the stock markets
Surprisingly good quarterly figures from the US internet giants led to new record highs on the stock markets. In the USA, the S&P500 index closed above the psychologically important 5,000-point mark. And even in Germany, which was plagued by farmers' protests and strikes, the DAX managed to temporarily jump above 17,000 points and thus reach a new all-time high. In addition to good corporate data, the stock market rally was also kept going by a buoyant US economy. The labor market remains extremely robust and the data for January was well above all consensus forecasts.
The much-noticed ISM index for the manufacturing sector in the US was also better than expected and indicates a revival in US industry. In such an economic environment, it is difficult to imagine the massive interest rate cuts priced in by the markets. As expected, the US Federal Reserve kept interest rates stable at its meeting at the beginning of February. However, the statements that interest rate cuts are not expected until May at the earliest were disappointing. The markets had originally expected the first rate cut in March. Over the course of this week, market participants will focus on the US inflation figures, hoping for a continuation of the disinflation trend. The good economic data and the prospect of interest rate cuts starting later are continuing to put pressure on the yield curve.
The 10-year German Bund remained above the 2.3 percent mark, while the 10-year US Treasury bond almost reached the 4.2 percent mark again. Thanks to the "risk-on" environment, both investment-grade corporate bonds and high-yield bonds outperformed government bonds. However, they were unable to escape the negative influence of duration. Moventum portfolios are still overweighted in both segments compared to government bonds. The overall shorter duration positioning was helpful. On the equity side, the overweighted US equities in the Moventum portfolios outperformed thanks to the tailwind of a stronger US dollar. The overweighted Japanese equity market also performed favorably.
The emerging markets, which are now underweighted in the portfolios, continued to underperform as usual, led by China. Despite new support measures from the Chinese central government, the stock market is not gaining momentum. Despite the rise in interest rates, growth companies in the USA and Europe outperformed. The performance was led by the mega caps from the IT sector, which are overweighted in the portfolios. The rather defensive healthcare sector also outperformed. In a market environment dominated by large and mega caps, largely avoiding the addition of small caps also proved to be advantageous. The friendly stock market environment has led to price gains in Moventum's equity-heavy portfolios over the past two weeks. Bond-heavy strategies also performed well despite the interest rate headwinds. The shorter duration and credit additions ensured outperformance. On the equity side, we benefited from exposure to the USA and sector positioning. The growth orientation also proved to be advantageous.
The PWM portfolio performed well in the past two weeks, with mixed funds and long-only equity funds making a particularly strong contribution to this development. In the bond funds, it was mainly short-dated and floater strategies that performed positively. Alternatives trended sideways overall and the development of the gold price did not provide any new impetus. Among the equity funds, the negative performance of Ardtur's European value fund was more than compensated for by the very positive contributions of the three remaining growth-oriented equity funds.
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