At the start of this year, investors were preparing themselves for a potentially volatile and unpredictable 2017 across almost all asset classes. However, with six months now almost over, there have been positive and negative shocks alike. How these feed into macro and micro environments will dictate how well investors do for the rest of the year.
A somewhat benign market for fixed income across the globe will have surprised investors who came into 2017 expecting bond yields to rise. For bond investors on the hunt for growth, emerging market debt is often touted as an option. But how well will this serve them? Equally, environment, social and governance considerations are becoming more important in the equity space - but is as much attention being paid in the fixed income arena?
Equity investors started the year expecting strong returns from Europe and Japan. While the former has delivered, Japanese stocks have not caused investors angst, but have left them wanting. What does the remainder of 2017 hold for the far-eastern nation? Closer to home, equity markets have continued upwards but what macro factor will hamper markets, and how good or bad could this be?
Towards the end of last year, many commentators suggested inflation would be a key concern for investors this year and these many were correct. As the UK inflation level ticks towards 3 per cent, and global inflation follows suit, how well are portfolios suited for such an environment?
A key factor in inflation has been the strength and weakness of commodity prices. The first half of 2017 has been a mixed bag, with the oil price entering bearish territory in recent weeks. But what does the future hold for natural resources, and how will this impact different asset classes?