Monthly markets review - May 2017
An overview of markets in May 2017 when economic news remained encouraging and political risks faded.
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- Global equity markets advanced in May. Economic updates continued to be encouraging while the French election outcome supported risk appetite.
- US shares made gains against a backdrop of better economic data. First-quarter GDP growth was revised upwards to 1.2% quarter-on-quarter from the initial 0.7% estimate.
- Eurozone equities notched up gains with domestically-focused sectors leading the way. Economic data remained positive while political risk receded. Strong corporate earnings were a further source of support.
- UK equities were boosted by a variety of factors including sterling weakness and robust corporate results, with strong first-quarter numbers from the heavyweight oil & gas and financial sectors.
- Japan registered positive returns amid a strong corporate earnings season and generally positive economic data.
- Emerging markets outperformed developed markets once again. Korea outperformed amid the pick-up in global growth and as a new president was elected.
- Global bond markets were stronger across the risk spectrum in May. Riskier assets outperformed relative to perceived safe havens, but most indices were firmer.