Quarterly Market Commentary

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Quarterly Market Commentary

Major Global Events

The MSCI World Equity Index advancing +5.3% in local currency terms, driven solely by US equities, however Emerging Markets were weighed down by tighter US monetary policy as well as concerns about the potential impact of global trade tensions.

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"It is not the strongest or the most intelligent who will survive, but those who can best manage change.” - Leon C. Megginson


The UK economy continues to perform ahead of economists’ gloomy expectations and is on track to hit +1.5% in 2018, however is growing below trend growth as business investment is delayed due to Brexit uncertainty.

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"Know what you own, and know why you own it." - Peter Lynch


US consumer confidence hit its highest level since 2000, while initial jobless claims fell to the lowest level since 1969. Wage growth rose to the highest level since 2009, supporting retail sales growth of over 4.7% year-on-year. Consumer spending, which accounts for more than two thirds of US economic activity, is being driven by a robust labour market, with the unemployment rate near a 49-year low of 3.7%.

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"I will tell you how to become rich. Close the doors. Be fearful when others are greedy. Be greedy when others are fearful." - Warren Buffett


The eurozone composite PMI for September fell to 52.7 from 54.7 in August, however still remains firmly expansionary. There was a weakening in the Eurozone manufacturing new export orders survey driven by a sharp slowdown in exports to China.

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"It's not whether you're right or wrong that's important, but how much money you make when you're right and how much you lose when you're wrong." -- George Soros


The Caixin/Markit Manufacturing PMI for China fell to 50.0 - its lowest level since May 2017 - and is now in neutral after showing expansion for 15 months suggesting Chinese manufacturers are feeling some pain from the ongoing trade tensions with the US.

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"An investor without investment objectives is like a traveller without a destination." - Ralph Seger


A strong bonus season for Japanese workers coupled with a rise in base pay by +1.4%, the highest level since 1997, caused a surge in spending in the third quarter.

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“Investing should be more like watching paint dry or watching grass grow. If you want excitement, take $800 and go to Las Vegas.” - Paul Samuelson


The Bloomberg Commodities index posted a -2.0% return in Q3 with commodities linked to growth and global trade, such as industrial metals agriculture suffering the most over the quarter.

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“It’s not your salary that makes you rich, it’s your spending habits.” –Charles Jaffe