As of March 31, 2013
Despite selected indices reaching all-time highs during the month, March saw markets generally trading sideways due to ambiguity caused by the terms of the bailout of banks in Cyprus and political uncertainty in Italy. Ramifications were felt across global stock markets although, in aggregate, the quarter saw strong returns on a global basis. The steady weakening of the Japanese yen during the quarter, caused by the massive quantitative easing initiative of the Central Bank of Japan, saw a temporary lull as a result of the Eurozone uncertainty and slowed the progress of Japanese stocks. Industrial manufacturing, housing, construction, employment and consumer confidence data in the U.S. all remained robust during the period, providing markets with some support, while late in the quarter ended March 31, 2013 we also saw the first signs of an earnings per share downgrade cycle bottoming.
To read more download the full commentary here
1Quantitative easing is monetary policy used by central banks to stimulate a national economy. Typical-ly, central banks implement quantitative easing by buying financial assets from commercial banks and other private institutions, injecting a pre-determined quantity of money into the economy.