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Schroders Equity Lens: your go-to guide to global equity markets

What’s been driving stock prices? Are they currently expensive or cheap? And which regions and sectors are poised to do well next? 

These are some of the questions we aim to regularly answer in our quarterly publication – the Schroders Equity Lens, a compilation of key trends in global equities illustrated through thought-provoking charts. Click here to download your Q3 copy.  


  • Global equities rallied 7.5% in Q2, led by the US (+8.9%), amid easing inflationary concerns, accelerating business activity and a signed bipartisan infrastructure deal.
  • Japan was the worst performing region (+0.2%), as a slow vaccine roll-out and economic restrictions weighed on investment sentiment.
  • Despite this, in the first half of 2021 Japan recorded the fastest rate of earnings-per-share growth among major equity regions.
  • Elsewhere, European and UK equities posted a return of 7.1% and 5.8% respectively (in local currency terms). A rapid vaccine roll-out coupled with falling Covid-19 infections allowed governments to loosen economic restrictions.
  • Consequently, business activity in the euro area in June expanded at the fastest rate in 15 years, according to a flash Markit PMI survey.
  • The 13-week earnings revisions ratio ((upgrades – downgrades) / total revisions) rose sharply in Q2 for Europe, the UK and the US. In contrast, it started to decline in Japan and EM.
  • Q2 performance was mixed within cyclical and defensive areas. The top performing sectors included IT (+10.6%) and health care (+9.5%), which had lagged in Q1 when investors focused on more economically-sensitive areas of the market. Utilities (-0.2%), industrials (+4.8%) and consumer staples (+5.9%) underperformed.
  • Global value stocks underperformed growth stocks by 5.0% in Q2, their largest spell of relative weakness since September 2020. Similarly, global small caps posted their fourth consecutive month of underperformance versus large caps.
  • These rotations came against a backdrop of falling long-term US bond yields and peaking growth expectations.

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Schroders Equity Lens Q3 2021 46 stron | 1 220 kb