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. The first-quarter market rout began as a typical flight to safety, with risk assets declining sharply while traditional safe havens rallied.
The price of gold was volatile in a momentous first quarter that saw both the emergence of a global health crisis and a significant correction in global equity markets, though the metal very much served its purpose as a potential hedge against extreme outcomes.
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.
First Eagle Funds
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