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Market Outlook - Monthly

May 2019 (covering April 2019)


  • The US equity market reached fresh record highs in April on the back of better-than-forecast company earnings and stronger-than-expected US economic growth. Financial and technology outperformed, while health care and real estate lagged the broader market.
  • Increased volatility due to uncertain policy outlook. We still believe longer-term corporate outlook remains promising, the impact of increased tariff on earnings have yet to be seen.

Europe (including UK)

  • As investors’ concerns have alleviated off the back of easing US-China trade concerns, signs that Chinese stimulus measures are working and better than expected economic data. The European and UK equity markets continued their rally in April, posting positive returns for another consecutive month. 
  • In Eurozone, further growth slowdown led by Germany and Italy. Political risks remain elevated. European Central Band ended QE, but policy normalization remains distant. 

Asia Pacific (ex Hong Kong ex China ex Japan)

  • Steady progress in US-China trade talks, positive economic indicators from China and an improvement in the global economic growth outlook helped buoy investor sentiment. MSCI Asia ex-Japan equities ended April higher on positive momentum.
  • We believe the positive momentum will carry into the second half thanks to improving economic and market fundamentals.

Hong Kong and Mainland China (H-shares)

  • Offshore Chinese equities delivered another month of positive returns and outperforming the broad Asian markets. Strong economic data supports investor sentiment, but policy concerns stalled market gains later the month. 
  • We believe Chinese economy will continue to demonstrate resilience as the economy is moving towards a more sustainable path with consumption playing a bigger role in driving economic growth. Turning to Hong Kong, we believe economy will experience stable growth as a result of healthy labor market and improving Chinese demand.


  • Japanese equities ended the month slightly higher, with improvements in US-China relations and a shift in US central bank policy among the main performance drivers. Consumer discretionary and communications services led sector performance.
  • We are carefully monitoring slowing growth in the global economy and political developments. Furthermore, corporate governance reform continues to progress slowly but surely leading improvements in capital efficiency and profitability. A further ROE improvement is expected, and the current valuations are very attractive.

Fixed Income

  • Corporate bonds delivered another month of positive returns. However, returns were limited by rising government bond yields. Amid the strengthening of economic data from China and the continuing pivot by central banks toward more accommodative monetary policy, demand for corporate bond issuance remained high.
  • We believe, whilst the Fed cites that rates will not increase this year, it will unlikely to ease as well. In this environment, we favor corporates bond over government bond. 

Emerging Markets

  • It was a positive month for global emerging equity markets, with all the regions advancing higher. The strongest performer was EMEA (Europe, Middle East & Africa), with Egypt, South Africa and Greece leading the gains here. Confidence towards Asia was boosted by better news on the Chinese economy slightly above consensus forecasts and an interest rate cut in India.
  • We believe that risk appetite for emerging markets could also be enhanced by the dovish signs from the US Federal Reserve. While lower cost of debt, positive GDP revisions and higher commodity prices are supportive for corporate earnings, we believe emerging equity markets continue to trade at a discount to their peers in the developed world.

2019 Investment Outlook : 15 asset classes

Each New Year brings the promise of a fresh start-but for investors, it’s important to understand the global dynamics that have brought us to this point. How do yesterday’s elections, monetary policy decisions and geopolitical developments affect tomorrow’s opportunities? Working with our investment teams from across the globe, we've developed this 2019 outlook to provide insights that can help you position your portfolio for the future.

2019 Outlook - Global Economy “Global economy expected to grow with low inflation in 2019”

Key takeaways

  • 2018 has been a year of turmoil, but, 2019 promises to be much calmer, in my view.
  • I believe the Federal Reserve should be successful in positioning the US economy for several more years of expansion.
  • Monetary policy invariably dominates fiscal policy in the determination of inflation.

2019 Outlook - Global Markets “Three themes to watch in 2019”

Key takeaways

  • We believe economic growth divergence is likely to continue to some extent.
  • Geopolitical disruption is leading to structural fragmentation.
  • The debt problem is widespread and is becoming more burden some as rates rise.


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