Following the market’s sluggish start at the beginning of the year, investor sentiment continued to be dampened by political risk, ongoing trade spats and elevated oil prices. Amid the headlines, the S&P/TSX Composite Index increased modestly, edging up 1.95% in the first half of the year. More aggressively, the S&P 500 Index returned 7.71% (C$) over the same period. International equities as represented by the MSCI EAFE Index, fared better than the MSCI Emerging Market Index delivering returns of 2.48% (C$) and -1.89% (C$) respectively. At mid-year, the loonie weakened -4.29% against the U.S. dollar, aiding the return of foreign assets in Canadian dollar terms. Canadian bonds, as measured by FTSE TMX Canada Bond Universe Index, returned a modest 0.61%.
Heightened prospects of a full-scale “trade war” and continued political uncertainty rattled global markets in the month of May. Despite shaky ground, the S&P/TSX Composite Index and the S&P 500 Index returned 3.12% and 3.31% (C$) respectively. On the currency front, the loonie weakened 0.89% against the U.S. dollar. Internationally, over the same time period, both the MSCI EAFE Index and Emerging Market Index were down -1.25% and -2.67% (C$) respectively. The FTSE TMX Canada Universe Bond Index rose 0.80% in May.