Viewpoint – Jan 2020
As the year began, so it ended, with yet another strong month for risk assets in December, capping one of the best years for markets since the financial crisis. Equities again led the charge, but leadership for once slipped from the US to emerging markets, which returned 7.5% in the month, well ahead of the US and MSCI World with 3.0% returns. This resulted in full year returns for the US of 30.7%, MSCI World 27.7% and MSCI Emerging Markets 18.4%. The ‘risk on’ environment led to safe haven government bonds weakening while high yield and emerging market bonds produced gains of 2.0-3.0%, with annual gains of 14.3% (US high yield) and 12.6% respectively.