The announcement by the US President, Donald Trump, to levy import tariffs on steel (25%) and aluminium (10%) has made waves. Can the favourable economic environment of boom, low inflation, and gradual reduction of the supportive monetary policy be toppled?
To most people, the notion of the performance of shares relates to changes in the share price. This does not take into account the second component of return, i.e. the dividend. Simply looking at the share price development seems too one-sided to me. After all, dividends may account for up to a third of total return, as is the case for example for the shares listed on the Vienna stock exchange. However, shares with strong dividends do not generate the highest total return in every phase of the market.
The global economy and the Eurozone continue to grow strongly. Furthermore, the Eurozone is currently experiencing new impulses for greater European integration through the new government in France and the coalition between CDU/CSU and SPD in Germany. On the other hand the outcome of the elections in Italy brought a politically instable result. The ECB meeting beginning of March did not include significant news.
The economic environment for Italy remains challenging. The fundamental problem is the low economic growth. Although the composition of the future government is still unclear, the party programs imply a persistent reform deadlock.
Fears of rising interest rates are back. Was the recent 9% correction in global equities just a market blip, amplified by technical factors related to the trading of volatility products? Or something more serious – a regime shift signalling the end of the equity bull market as many have argued?