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We are very pleased to bring to you the April 2023 edition of the Orion Investment Managers’ Optimum publication.
It has been a challenging quarter for asset managers globally and locally. International markets ended the quarter on a firmer footing, despite market volatility, caused principally by the collapse in March of Silicon Valley Bank (SVB), Silvergate and Credit Suisse. This negativity receded relatively quickly as US policy makers stepped in promptly to secure deposits and restore confidence and stem any contagion effect in the US banking markets.
All three of the big US indices ended the month firmer, with the tech sector particularly buoyant at month end as the S&P 500 closed higher by 3.5%, the Dow Jones up by 1.9% and the Nasdaq by 6.7%. US economic data continued to be broadly in line with market expectations as the CPI print decreased from 6.4% in January to 6.0% in February, with core CPI also coming in at 5.5% in February vs the 5.6% reading previously recorded for January.
Although January retail sales rose by 3.0%, this was reversed in February, as sales declined significantly, printing at -0.4%, which was in line with consensus. Personal consumption expenditure (PCE) rose by 0.3% for February, which was lower than the January reading of 0.5%, and beating the consensus expectation of 0.4% rise, hinting that US inflation may be slowing.
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