– Global equities came under pressure in February, posting a negative return in US dollar terms. Perceived safe havens rallied for a second consecutive month with Treasury, gilt and Bund yields falling.
– US equities registered a small negative return. Investors deferred expectations for further rate increases after Federal Reserve chair Janet Yellen warned that global financial market turbulence could set back US growth.
– In the eurozone, weak inflation data reinforced expectations of further monetary policy easing. In the UK, sterling came under pressure after a referendum on the UK’s membership of the EU was called for 23 June.
– Japanese equities posted sharp declines amid doubts over the success of “Abenomics”, a stronger yen and concern over the slowdown in China.
– Emerging markets outpaced their developed world counterparts. Expectations for stimulus measures in China spurred a rally in commodity-linked stocks.