April General Markets Comments

by Pierre Mouton

April General Markets Comments

“Superstition” – Stevie Wonder, 1971

Everybody knows the old market quip “Sell in May and go away”, which sounds like a superstitious motto, but, depending on which side of the pond you’re based, the timing for coming back differs significantly. In the US, that’s Labor Day (beginning of September), and on the other side of the Ocean, that’s Derby Day (Epsom horses races in the UK, beginning of June). This adage is simply based on historical observations: there is statistical evidence that equity markets returns are, on average, much better between November and April than between May and October. But the rationale behind this performance gap remains nebulous: the most common belief is that volumes tend to dry up as the sun becomes more present, investors swapping their prescription glasses for sunglasses and being more focus on sunscreen than desktop screens. That doesn’t sound very serious, but there is no other real explanation. “You believe in things you don’t understand”, as Stevie sings.

Well, in 2024, the selling season has started earlier, as April was pretty poor; is this an effect of Climate Change? Probably not: there is more and more evidence that inflation targets will prove challenging to reach, especially in the US, which questions the previously expected rate cuts by the Fed this year, some participants even suggesting a possible hike, something that was clearly not in the cards. As a result, long term yields shot up (+48 bps for the US 10 year, +28 bps for the 10 year Bund), the dollar rose with +1.66% for the broad DXY index, and most equity markets fell: the MSCI World abandoned 3.9%, the S&P 4.2%, the Nasdaq 4.5% and the Stoxx 600 1.5%. Some surprises to mention though: despite a strong dollar and rising yields, Gold shone and added 2.5%, Emerging Markets equities resisted and ended the month up 0.3%, and the Chinese CSI 300 index surged 1.9%.

Value and Growth were both weak (-3.6% for the MSCI World Value and -4.1% for the MSCI World Growth), but the Japanese Yen takes the cake for weakness with a 4% fall versus the dollar (-11.6% ytd), mitigating the apparent strong Topix performance: in USD terms, the Japanese equity index lags the S&P 500 by almost 150 bps year to date.





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Antonio Mira

Antonio Mira joined NS Partners in 2006 as Group Chief Financial Officer. He heads the corporate functions and is involved in coordinating and implementing the decisions of the Executive Committee.
An experienced bank auditor, Antonio started his career in 1995 with Arthur Andersen, where he worked for some 7 years before joining Ernst & Young in 2002 as a Senior Manager.
Antonio is a Swiss chartered accountant and a Business graduate of Lausanne University (HEC).

Sébastien Poiret

Sébastien Poiret joined NS Partners in 2008 and manages funds of hedge funds and private client mandates. He also oversees the development of the Group’s offices in Mauritius.

Prior to joining NS Partners, he served as a Trader, Head of Manager research and Portfolio Manager in the USA and Switzerland for a single hedge fund (1998-2004) and for Optimal (2004-2008), Grupo Santander’s fund-of-hedge funds operations.

Sébastien holds a Bachelor’s degree in Corporate Finance from the ESPEME Business School (EDHEC Group) and an MBA in Finance and Economics from the Institute of Business Administration, both in Nice.

Abir Oreibi

Abir Oreibi joined the Board of the NS Partners Group in 2018, where she brings her truly international perspective and rich experience.
Among many other ventures, Abir set up’s first European office. After living and working in Shanghai, Hong Kong, Bangkok and London, she now lives in Geneva, where she is CEO of Lift Events, an organization that identifies technology trends, their business and social impact through the organization of events and open innovation programs. Issues related to the challenges and opportunities created by new technologies as well as the strategic responses from organizations are at the heart of Lift’s activities.
Abir holds a BA in Political Sciences from the University of Geneva. She is an investor, and member of advisory and innovation boards.

Romain Pidoux, CAIA

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Romain Pidoux joined NS Partners in 2011 and heads the Group’s Risk Management.
He started his financial career in 2005 as Head of Quantitative Analysis for a Swiss Family Office, selecting funds and managing portfolio allocation. In 2008, he switched to the alternative world and joined Peak Partners as hedge funds analyst.
He is a Chartered Alternative Investment Analyst (CAIA) and holds a Master’s degree in international relations from the Graduate Institute of International Studies at Geneva University.

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