Market volatility the new norm

Here's what we're thinking

April 10, 2018

Elevated market volatility has gripped global markets in recent weeks, with the latest bout of selling pressure dragging markets back to the lows of early- February. In this iteration, fears over escalating trade tensions between the U.S. and China and government intervention in the U.S. technology sector are at the centre of market concerns. We see these factors as having a transitory effect on markets. At the same time, we would characterize last year’s near all-time low in volatility readings as an aberration and this year’s spike in volatility as a return to a more normal volatility environment. This is particularly true in view of the late stage of the economic and market cycle in which we find ourselves, characterized by above-average valuations, rising interest rates, and crowded positioning. The key for investors is the outlook for medium-term global macro and market fundamentals, and on this score we remain bullish. We see global economic growth easing slightly from the red-hot pace of late last year to a still- impressive above-trend pace, thanks to solid employment and income growth and supportive policy settings.

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