Monthly markets review - May 2017

An overview of markets in May 2017 when economic news remained encouraging and political risks faded.


Investment Communications Team

Investment Communications Team

  • 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.