Outlook for Investment Markets
World equity markets have weakened in March, largely reflecting the impact of the Ukraine events, concern over Chinese growth, a drop in the Japanese market and various emerging market problems. Looking ahead, however, the outlook has clearly improved in many of the major developed economies (ex-Japan) and equities should benefit from better economic conditions, though there is still potential for emerging market and geopolitical volatility. Stronger business activity in the major economies adds to the challenges for bond markets, where unusually low yields are unlikely to persist (again, ex-Japan). In New Zealand, business and consumer confidence levels have risen even higher and local assets are likely to continue to perform well in response.
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