Commentaries

13 January 2020

Thomas de Saint-Seine

The RAM (Lux) Systematic Funds - Global Sustainable Income Equities Fund ended December up 2.78%* (Ip USD class - net of fees), marginally underperforming the MSCI World High DY TRN index which returned 3.05%. Equity markets globally ended the year at record highs as investor sentiment improved on a phase one trade deal between the U.S. and China, and political certainty in the UK surrounding a concrete Brexit solution for PM Boris Johnson’s Conservative Party. The upbeat mood, coupled with relatively robust economic data and loose monetary policy by the world’s most influential central banks, sent global equity markets to record levels with the index’s 2019 return the best year since the 2009 rally that followed the Global Financial Crisis. On a regional basis, our Asian strategy led gains while Europe and North America weighed. The month’s clear risk-on mode meant that quality was sacrificed in favour of beta, with December’s rally a mirror-image of previous months. Broadly, at a global level, energy stocks posted the strongest sector returns for the month, while IT stocks also continued to rise. However, weak manufacturing data weighed on industrials, which was the month’s weakest relative performer. Country-wise, we saw performance generated in Hong Kong (Health Care) stocks, as well as Canada (Financials) and Norway (Communication Services). Conversely, losses were felt in the US (Consumer Discretionary and Utilities) and the UK (Health Care), where our cautious approach detracted amid the current market environment. From a sector perspective, Health Care and Energy picks were positive, while Utilities and Consumer Discretionary selection weighed.  

*Sources : RAM Active Investments.