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Market update

Economic overview and summary of our asset allocation decisions – October 2016

After a historic and at times volatile backdrop for markets over the summer, global equities were generally flat in September. More pro-cyclical segments of the market, such as emerging markets and UK small cap, did better, although European banks in particular struggled.

Where was the main policy action (or inaction)?

While September’s headlines continued to be dominated by speculation surrounding what negotiations between the UK and the European Union will eventually result in, the main policy action or inaction in the month was in Japan and the US.

  • The BoJ announced that it would be continuing its asset-purchase programme and that central rates would remain unchanged, but also that it would now aim to keep 10-year government bond yields at or around zero percent, while also tweaking its ¥6 trillion annual ETF purchase programme
  • In the US, there was no policy action at the Federal Reserve’s September meeting
  • The Fed’s commentary and updated forecasts are however suggesting a small rate increase is now likely in December, as a split developed between the doves and hawks on the voting committee.

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