Complacency around the coronavirus marked the first half of the month for global equities with most markets up by around 5% in the first two weeks. The peak was February 19 after which equities experienced their fastest 10% fall in recorded history. For the month, global equities were down by between 8-10%. Europe and the US were the hardest hit as the number of new virus cases escalated there. A general view that China had seen the worst of the virus, combined with the fiscal and monetary response by the government, meant China was one of the better performing markets in the month, up 0.6%.
Overall, developed markets underperformed emerging markets.
A 2.6% fall in the Australian dollar meant unhedged global equity positions did better than their hedged versions.
Equity markets from the outbreak of the virus (Index 14/1=100)