Quarterly markets review - Q1 2015
A look back at markets in Q1 2015, which saw the European Central Bank embark on full quantitative easing.
Global equities registered positive returns over the first quarter with central banks in the eurozone and China easing monetary policy. Crude oil prices stabilised after their previous sharp drop.
The S&P 500 delivered a modest positive return. The timing of the first interest rate hike now appears more distant. However, concern over the impact of the strong dollar limited the stockmarket’s progress.
Eurozone equities enjoyed strong returns after the European Central Bank’s (ECB) announcement that it would buy sovereign bonds. The size of the package surpassed market expectations.
Japanese equities gained amid some positive corporate earnings and were further supported by hopes that additional stimulus from the Bank of Japan would be forthcoming.
Emerging markets posted positive returns. Chinese equities were supported by the authorities’ moves to boost growth. Russia gained amid the stabilising oil price and hopes of a peace deal with Ukraine. Brazilian equities fell amid anaemic economic growth.