London Market Monitor - 31 January 2020
After a very strong performance in 2019, equity markets started 2020 on the back foot due to fears of a coronavirus outbreak and rising tensions between the US and Iran.
European equity markets made a strong recovery in September as the ECB cut the benchmark rate by 10 basis points and restarted its asset purchase programme in response to a weaker economic outlook. Global equity indices also made notable gains in the month, during which the US Federal Reserve provided monetary stimulus, cutting interest rates by 25 basis points. Japanese equity markets were one of the best performers, up 6%. UK government and corporate bond rates were marginally up in September, gaining 0.5% and 0.1%. The CPI reading was 1.7% in August, a decline of 40 basis points from the previous month. Following the rise in equity markets, volatility eased significantly during September. Realised volatility for the major indices were all below 10% by the end of the month and remain significantly lower than historical average levels.