Q2 saw global equities fall by over 5% in sterling terms. Concerns surrounding Greece’s debt repayments and the future of the Eurozone weighed on world markets, particularly towards the end of the quarter.
It has been a very good quarter for investors, despite the downside risks. Global equities were given a huge boost in January as the ECB announced its significant quantitative easing (QE) program which began in March. This helped the FTSE World Index gain over 5% in Q1.
World markets experienced a very volatile quarter which included a sharp sell-off in equities at the beginning of October. However, sentiment quickly returned, reflected by a gain of 4.13% for the FTSE World Index in Q4.
Given that the third quarter of the year was a period plagued with geopolitical tension, the FTSE World index delivered a surprising gain of 2.7%.
Following a volatile first quarter of 2014, Q2 has offered a much more positive outlook, with the FTSE100 gaining 2.36% as opposed to contracting by 1.26% in the period January to March.
Following strong market returns in 2013, there was widespread optimism regarding market sentiment for 2014.
The fourth quarter rounded 2013 off on a high, with many global equity markets posting impressive double-digit gains for the full year.