We hope that your family remains safe and well. Please find below a summary of the latest market developments.
North American equity markets proved volatile this week, reacting to increasing numbers of COVID-19 infections in 27 states and fears of new lockdowns and decreased economic activity. In particular, cases continued to soar in Florida, Texas, Arizona and California.
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) now expects global economic output to contract by 4.9% in 2020, with U.S. output contracting by 8.0% and Canadian output by 8.4%.
Ratings agency Fitch Ratings downgraded Canada's credit rating to 'AA+' from 'AAA' to reflect the deterioration of public finances due to COVID-19.
New Bank of Canada Governor Tiff Macklem said that Canada’s economy will take a long time to fully recover from lockdowns, requiring the central bank to continue purchasing government bonds to keep interest rates low indefinitely.
President Donald Trump said that a second stimulus bill was coming and would likely be announced in the next few weeks. Weekly jobless claims in the U.S. were 1.48 million, and real gross domestic product (GDP) contracted at an annual rate of 5.0% in the first quarter of 2020.
How does this affect my investments?
A resurgence of COVID-19 cases across the United States has caused investors to consider the implications of a second series of lockdowns; something many hoped would be unnecessary moving forward. As economic forecasts continue to show the damage caused by the pandemic, it is understandable that sentiment may turn bearish in the short term.
With that said, staying on track with your long-term plan ultimately proved wise and our advice is to continue to do so. The chart below illustrates this point, demonstrating that often when investors turn increasingly bearish (moved by fear and pessimism), markets may be poised to move the other way.
We are always happy to discuss your investment plans. Please do not hesitate to contact us at (613) 258-1997.
O’Farrell Wealth & Estate Planning team
Sources: CI Investments Inc., marketwatch.com, fxstreet.com, theglobeandmail.com, fitchratings.com, bostonglobe.com, and forbes.com.
This material is provided for general information and is subject to change without notice. Every effort has been made to compile this material from reliable sources however no warranty can be made as to its accuracy or completeness. Before acting on any of the above, please make sure to see a professional advisor for individual financial advice based on your personal circumstances.
Assante Capital Management Ltd. is a Member of the Canadian Investor Protection Fund and Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada.