May was a month marked by concerns related to a possible rise in inflation and implications for Federal Reserve policy. However, confidence has increased, especially thanks to indications that the central bank would stay on course.
Major equity indices rose while bond yields remained stable. Volatility, present at the beginning of the month, decreased. Markets began to recover as inflation concerns eased and expectations returned to pre-pandemic 2020 levels.
The US SP500 index gained slightly, closing the month with an increase of 0.55%, slightly exceeding the peak reached at the end of April. On the other hand, the Nasdaq index declined by -1.50%, which continued to suffer from investors’ rotation from technology stocks to cyclical ones. Europe did well, optimism about the economic outlook seems to be growing, as well as macroeconomic data, driven above all by the intensification of vaccination efforts and a greater reopening of economies in general. The Euro Stoxx index climbed +1.60%, also well the peripheral DAX at +1.88% and FTSE MIB at 4.26%. The Swiss SMI index continues its good performance +3%. The mix of cyclical and defensive stocks made its contribution. The stock market performance was not affected by the Swiss government’s decision to terminate the framework agreement, after 7 years of negotiations, with the European Union. Asia was also positive, with the Hang Seng index up 1.40% and the Nikkei up 0.15%. The latter is lagging behind on the main global markets and still below the March highs.
The oil race continues. The ecological transition is an irreversible choice, but for the moment the world still needs black gold and not only as an energy source. With the world’s major economies coming out of the pandemic, it is fair to expect a rapid rebalancing of the oil market resulting in higher prices.
The baseline scenario remains positive.