Global Strategy First Quarter 2016 Review
If you went away at the beginning of the year and came back at the end of the quarter, you might think that not much took place over the last three months. Well, in a way, that is true. We ended the quarter about where we started, despite the wild rollercoaster ride in the interim, with main equity indices dropping to multi-year lows and then rebounding. The tumultuous first six weeks was caused by key macro concerns centered on China, oil uncertainty, geopolitical risks and skepticism around growth in general. Widening credit spreads in January, especially in the Energy sector added to the apprehension. 50% of distressed high yield debt is in this area! However, the WTI oil price moved back up to U$38 at quarter-end from the low of U$26 in mid-February, high yield spreads narrowed, and the China devaluation concerns also seemed to diminish. Global equities, which had formally entered a bear market in mid-February, quickly reversed into one of the best low quality trade rallies in recent memory.