November began with US mid-term election results coming in as expected, removing one cloud of uncertainty. However political anxiety elsewhere, notably in the UK and Italy, caused heightened volatility. Fragility was also evident in the commodity market with one of the worst months in history for the oil price.
Rate hike fears eased slightly with the Federal Reserve softening its policy view by suggesting that rates were already nearing neutral, while at the G20 Summit US President Donald Trump and Chinese leader Xi Jinping agreed that current US tariffs on $200 billion worth of Chinese imports of 10% will remain unchanged for 90 days while they continue talks. President Trump has predictably lauded the agreement but the details are typically sketchy and a proper game-changing deal will require major compromises on both sides.
The background conditions proved more favourable for Asian and Emerging Markets, with both regions delivering the best performance during the month. The UK market struggled while US stocks delivered a positive return, with a number of the technology stocks recovering after a poor October.
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