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Having had a reasonable finish to 2015, global equity markets have been under pressure this year with most of the major indices ending the first quarter in negative territory. Brazil and Russia were the exceptions however, returning 18.78% and 7.87% respectively although as we have seen before these markets are extremely volatile and gains can quickly reverse.

As for Europe it was negative across the board. The pan European STOXX 600 index lost close to 7% over the quarter whilst here in the UK the FTSE 100 slipped 1.08% over the period.

The US fared marginally better with the S&P 500 just posting a positive return of 0.77%. Asian markets however, were mainly negative with the Japanese Nikkei 225 index losing 9.2% and the Chinese Shanghai Composite index down by over 15%.

Commodities were mixed with the broader CRB commodity index down just over 3% but with some indications that these markets are perhaps nearing a bottom at last. Oil having traded around US$28 at one point last year, has settled around US$40 recently and gold advanced 16% over the quarter.

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1/1/2016 – 31/3/2016