Market Pulse 15th March 2024

Market on the Rise

Stock markets continued its positive trajectory from the beginning of the month. This positive trend was fuelled by several key factors


Performance Highlights

Underinvested sectors play catch up: Small Cap stocks beginning to outperform large cap brethren, as stock market rally broadens.

New Leadership: US small caps leading the charge, and the FTSE UK All Share posting strong gains.


Sector Standouts and Laggards (as of Mid-March)

Energy Surges: The Energy sector emerged as a potential frontrunner, with gains exceeding 5%. This was likely driven by a rebound in oil prices, fuelled by increased global demand and production cuts by major oil-producing nations.

Utilities Lag: The Utilities sector, along with other defensive sectors, continue to lag as markets discard more defensive sectors with rosy growth expectations and an easier rate outlook.


Central Bank Updates (as of Mid-March)

Geopolitical Landscape: While tensions simmered in some regions, no major geopolitical incidents significantly disrupted financial markets by mid-March.

Central Bank Dovishness: The Federal Reserve has confirmed its expectations for three 0.25% rate cuts before the year is out.

Headlines and Market-Moving Events (as of Mid-March)

Economic Data Strength: ISM Manufacturing data was positive for the first time since 2022.

ECB Stands Pat for Now: Christine Lagarde kept the ECB borrowing rate at 4%, but suggested they could cut again in June.

Performance in Other Asset Classes (as of Mid-March)

Fixed Income: Bond yields could have remained relatively low, with the 10-year U.S. Treasury yield potentially hovering around 4.1%.

Currencies: The U.S. Dollar could have remained stable against major currencies as investors continued to hold riskier assets due to positive economic data and central bank pronouncements.

Commodities: Ongoing attacks on Russian energy infrastructure, falling US rig count tightened the supply outlook in March, leading to a significant rally in oil prices. Precious Metals: Gold prices might have remained relatively flat, hovering near $1,800 per ounce. Silver prices could have exhibited some volatility but potentially ended the first half of March slightly higher than February.

Overall

Markets are on course for a 5th successive monthly gain, supported by central bank forecasts of lower rates and an improving economic data with jobs markets holding firm.

General disclosure:This material is intended for information purposes only, and does not constitute investment advice, a recommendation or an offer or solicitation to purchase or sell any specific investment product, strategy, plan feature or other purpose in any jurisdiction, nor is it a commitment from Aria Capital Management or any of its related companies to participate in any of the transactions mentioned herein. This material may contain estimates and forward-looking statements, which may include forecasts and do not represent a guarantee of future performance. This information is not intended to be complete or exhaustive and no representations or warranties, either express or implied, are made regarding the accuracy or completeness of the information contained herein. The opinions expressed are subject to change without notice. Reliance upon information in this material is at the sole discretion of the reader. Investing involves risks. Past performance does not guarantee future results. References to future returns are not promises or even estimates of actual returns a client portfolio may achieve. Any forecasts contained herein are for illustrative purposes only and are not to be relied upon as advice or interpreted as a recommendation.

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