Global equity markets ended a robust 2019 on a high note, with a strong fourth quarter rally adding to already impressive yearto- date gains. Performance over the last several months of the year was driven mainly by sectors of the market, such as technology and health care, thought to have good long-term growth prospects.
In our year-end 2019 commentary we talked about the importance of portfolio balance given our wariness of the indicators suggesting 2020 could be a very good year for equities. While we noted that an exogenous shock could throw upbeat market calculations askew, neither we nor anyone else anticipated the emergence of a global pandemic that would exert a powerful impact on markets and economies.
The emergence of the novel coronavirus and the economic impact of efforts to contain its transmission led to a deep, sharp repricing of risk assets during the first quarter as liquidity concerns emerged across financial markets.
On April 7, 2020, we spoke with Idanna Appio about recent market developments and the potential short- and long-term macroeconomic impacts of the coronavirus pandemic.
Investors initially downplayed news of the novel coronavirus outbreak in China, and equity indexes continued to press higher for the first weeks of 2020 as they did for much of 2019, led by growth-