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Monthly financial markets outlook | February 2024

US equities eked out positive returns despite facing selling pressure in the last week of the month following uninspiring tech earnings and a Fed pushback. Investors continued to shun emerging markets and European equities amid a divergence in economic prospects between the US and the rest of the world. The ALSI bore the brunt of the ongoing economic woes in China. SA bonds provided a protective buffer amid market fluctuations. Global bonds yields rose as investors were compelled to temper their rate-cut expectations following disappointing inflation data, strong US economic indicators, and pushback from Powell. Economic data continues to support the prospect of a global soft landing, albeit with significant divergence among major economies. Geopolitical frictions reignited concerns about inflation. The Fed held rates steady but refrained from committing to cuts until it is confident that inflation is headed down to its 2% target.

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