Defining Moments in the First Half of 2024

In the first half of 2024, the global economy exhibited robust strength, defying earlier predictions of rapidly falling inflation. This period also witnessed significant policy shifts. In March, the Swiss National Bank led major central banks by reducing rates, followed by Sweden’s Riksbank, the Bank of Canada, and the European Central Bank. In Asia, Japan ended its 17-year negative interest rate policy with a historic rate hike, while China implemented its most aggressive property market easing measures since the onset of its multi-year bear market.

Despite these developments, investors are navigating a landscape fraught with challenges. Geopolitical risks remain a primary concern, with the potential for escalating global conflicts, the unpredictable outcomes of the upcoming U.S. elections in November, and ongoing strains in U.S.-China relations contributing to market uncertainty. Furthermore, the last mile of disinflation in the US has proven to be challenging, delaying rate cuts from the Federal Reserve and pushing bond yields up.

In Europe, political developments have taken centre stage in June. Results of the European elections in France with a clear victory for the National Rally have created a major political shock, with President Emmanuel Macron announcing the dissolution of the National Assembly and early parliamentary elections that will take place on June 30 and July 7. France’s Cac 40 stock index slid 1.4 per cent and bonds were hit as investors reacted to the prospect of a government led by Marine Le Pen’s far-right movement. [1]

Going Ahead

In anticipation of the second half of the year, various financial institutions have released mid-year outlook reports to help investors identify potential risks and opportunities and adjust their portfolios accordingly. WRISE Investment Team has compiled a report comparing diverse macroeconomic views and sentiments across different asset classes.





Citations

[1] Markets hit by Macron gamble on French elections (ft.com)

Citi Private Bank. (2024). Wealth Outlook 2024: Mid-Year Edition

Invesco. (2024). 2024 Midyear Investment Outlook: Opportunities Amidst Divergence.

J.P. Morgan Private Bank Asia. (2024). 2024 Mid-Year Outlook: A strong economy in a fragile world

Julius Baer. (2024). Market Outlook Mid-Year 2024 (Asia Edition).

UBS Chief Investment Office GWM. (n.d.). Asia Mid-Year Outlook | Defining moments – Investing in Asia Pacific.

UOB. (2024). Late-Cycle Interest Rates; Mid-Cycle Economy Mid-Year Investment Outlook 2024.