Coronavirus leads to further market turbulence

As we feared, the uncertainties on the financial markets have increased sharply again in recent days. One factor contributing to the uncertainty is the far-reaching measures prescribed worldwide to prevent a further strong spread of the coronavirus. The decision of the Italian government to quarantine the whole of Italy is a recent example of this.

On the other hand, turbulence on the oil market is causing uncertainty. After the oil-producing countries were unable to agree on quantity restrictions to support prices, Saudi Arabia announced a price war. At the beginning of the week, the price of a barrel of Brent and WTI crude fell to just over 30 dollars. Since the beginning of the year, oil has thus lost half its value. The price collapse has left deep scars in the global stock and bond markets.

The portfolios we manage are not directly invested in oil. The collapse of the oil price has therefore had no direct impact on the portfolios. At the same time, in this environment, our decisions of 28 January and 26 February to underweight equities and buy more bonds in return have paid off. We are sticking to this approach, as recent events have further increased the risk that the coronavirus could trigger a recession in the global economy. We also remain increasingly invested in gold and the Japanese yen, both of which are so-called "safe havens".

We continue to follow developments in the financial markets and the global economy closely and will make further adjustments if necessary.