Market Update - July 2018

In June, investors attempted to reconcile some encouraging signs of global economic strength with heightened trade tensions and some hawkish undertones from several major central banks - all of which added to financial market volatility during the month. The global trade dispute intensified after President Trump’s ramped-up protectionist threats were swiftly met with vows for retaliation from America’s closest allies – all but threatening to derail the strongest global expansion since 2011. Meanwhile, central banks are slowly stepping away from the proverbial punchbowl. The Federal Reserve raised interest rates in June and adopted a more aggressive path to future normalization, while the European Central Bank announced that its asset purchase program will come to a close in 2018 after several years of balance sheet expansion.