Q1 2024

2023 ended with an almost universal view that the US (and with it broader developed markets) would experience a soft landing; economic growth would remain robust with inflation moderating to allow interest rate cuts, which would support asset prices. Q1 2024 saw inflation surprise to the upside, the Fed has not cut interest rates and the market has repriced interest rate expectations significantly, to just three cuts as of end-March 2024 for the rest of the year. Despite this, equity markets are close to all-time highs and credit spreads close to all-time tights; the S&P 500 ended the quarter +10.2%, the MSCI World +8.5%, whilst credit spreads tightened (Investment Grade by 10bps and High Yield by 32bps). High yield spreads reached their tightest levels since 2007.