January Market Commentary

After a dismal end to 2018 for markets, January has been a positive start to the year for investors, albeit with volatility remaining ever present. Performance of some of the main indices are listed below:

(All figures are based on bid to bid pricing with income reinvested, in Sterling terms)

Tensions between the US and China, in their on-going Trade saga, softened after Christmas with both sides seeming more open to negotiation. Market reaction was positive and this has been built on over the past week or so with a Chinese delegation arriving in Washington for talks where we currently await further, hopeful signs of progress.

Elsewhere, British politics continues to baffle and provide no real clarity in how the country will look after March’s proposed exit. In the space of two weeks, we have seen MP’s comprehensively reject Theresa May’s Withdrawal Agreement – the worst defeat for a sitting government in over 95 years. The government then survived a vote of no confidence and further debate and voting has subsequently seen Parliament indicate a willingness to renegotiate on the Irish backstop, albeit with little appetite from Europe to date.

Over the month, our portfolios have performed positively in line with their respective benchmarks.