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  • Hopes of a growth boom triggered by stimulus measures are being offset by worries about rising government bond yields. This past week we have seen some degree of profit-taking, for example in American technology stocks – with the Nasdaq Composite equity index down by about 4% since February 16.

  • Global stock markets have generally continued to climb this past week, among other things because many companies have reported good fourth quarter 2020 earnings. Measured using the MSCI World Index (in US dollars), global equities gained another 1% or so and have risen by more than 5,1% so far this year.

  • In the spring of 2020, the focus of financial market attention was on economic crisis and low valuations. Today it is on stimulus measures, vaccines and a bright future, but also much higher market valuations. Among positive factors, we are seeing forecasts of a high global growth rate and earnings increases, stimulative monetary and fiscal policies as well as relative valuations of asset classes. Among negative factors are high absolute valuation levels, the often already aggressive positioning of investors and high total debt.