Market Update - A look back at March

Updated: Dec 1, 2020

What a month March was…

it will surely be looked back on in history school classes in the future. As the world tries to fight the impact of the coronavirus (Covid-19) from a health perspective, many countries are in lockdown and economies are on hold. Major governments have provided unprecedented financial support packages for business, employees and the self-employed.

All of this has led to a roller-coaster ride for global equity markets and while they have all fallen significantly during March, many have risen markedly from their lowest closing day during the month.

Monthly performance to end of March 2020

FTSE 100 (UK) -13.8%

Dow 30 (US) -13.7%

Euro Stoxx 50 (Europe) -16.2%

Nikkei 225 (Japan) -10.5%

In terms of currency, £ Sterling ended March at 1.24 US Dollars. This was 3.1% lower than the figure at the end of February.

Similarly, against the Euro, £ Sterling ended March at 1.13 Euros, which was 3.2% lower than the February closing figure.

Inflation, as measured by the Consumer Prices Index including owner occupiers’ housing costs (CPIH), was 1.7% in February 2020 (this is February’s data which is reported in March). This was 0.1% lower than the previous month. The 12-month rate for the Consumer Prices Index (CPI) rate which excludes owner-occupied housing costs and council tax was also 1.7% in February, also down from 1.8% in January.

In moves reported to help to bolster cash flow for households and small businesses affected by the coronavirus, the Bank of England has cut interest rates twice during March. The first cut to 0.25% was on 13 March followed by a further cut to 0.1% on 19 March. The previous change was an increase to 0.75% in August 2018.

The Omnis Managed funds, Openwork Graphene Model Portfolios, and Omnis Managed Portfolio Service provide you with a diversified asset allocation in line with your Attitude to Risk, investing in Developed Market Equities, such as UK, US, Europe, and Asia Pacific as well as Emerging Market equities. Cautious and Balanced investors will also have significant holdings in UK and Global Bonds, as well as Alternative Strategies.

We believe this multi-asset approach aims to minimise global equity market falls in volatile periods.

Past performance is not a guide to future performance. The value of an investment and any income from it can fall as well as rise as a result of market and currency fluctuations. You may not get back the amount you originally invested.

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