Written by Cormac Nevin.

Markets continued to stage a broad-based recovery last week, as returns for June continue to be strong in what has been a challenging year to date. The MSCI All Country World Index returned +1.5% last week in GBP terms and was assisted by a rebound in global growth equities. Bonds also rallied as treasury yields fell, and even riskier high yield bonds rallied strongly.

While the debate regarding whether we will see a recession in the US this year is ongoing, it appears more likely that this will come to pass in Europe sooner rather than later. Measures of business confidence have fallen to lows not seen since the depths of the COVID-19 market selloff over 2 years ago. Germany in particular is being hit particularly hard by soaring energy costs due to its reliance on Russian natural gas. Inflation in Germany has risen to 8.2% in June, and is also putting a major squeeze on consumer incomes. In addition, the recent dry spell has reduced the water level on Germany’s main rivers which has caused shipping disruptions on the Rhine.

In Italy, the Eurozone’s third largest economy, the spectre of political uncertainty has returned. Mario Draghi resigned as the Prime Minister last Thursday which triggered the dissolution of parliament after three of the largest parties in parliament boycotted a confidence vote in his leadership. This led to a sell-off in Italian debt, and cost of borrowing vs German debt costs has been widening in what is a heavily indebted economy.

There is now a scramble across Europe to build up stores of energy in advance of winter, as it is not apparent how much energy Russia will be willing or able to provide given the ongoing war in Ukraine.

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All the data contained in the communication is believed to be reliable but may be inaccurate or incomplete. Unless otherwise specified all information is produced as of 25th July 2022.