Tech boom drives global markets in first half of 2024

30 percent of the S&P's returns this year have come from tech giant Nvidia alone

REUTERS June 30, 2024
NVIDIA logo is seen near computer motherboard in this illustration taken January 8, 2024. PHOTO: REUTERS

The unstoppable march of the mega caps, sloth-like central bank pivots, political palpitations aplenty and M&A is back - the first half of 2024 has been another whirlwind in world markets.

Forecasts for a global interest-rate-cutting frenzy may not have materialized, but Nvidia  and the rest of the Magnificent 7 soared another $3.6 trillion in market value.

MSCI's 47-country world stocks index has clocked up a punchy 11% since January. Good yes, but nowhere near the 30% leap of team tech, or the frankly eye-popping 150% gain of chip champ Nvidia.

"Thirty percent of the S&P's returns this year have come from Nvidia alone," the chief investment officer of IBOSS Asset Management Chris Metcalfe said, pointing out it was now the most expensive stock on the most expensive market in the world.

Read: Nvidia eclipses Microsoft as world's most valuable company

Government bonds had been having a tough time anyway. Predictions of a gush of rate cuts have turned out to be just a dribble in a few parts of Europe and emerging markets and certainly not in the United States yet.

As a result, anyone owning a basket of benchmark bonds has lost around 1.5% of their money.

"At the end of last year, the markets expected seven (US) rate cuts and now they are expecting just one or two," Nadege Dufosse, the head of multi-asset at Candriam said. "That has been the big driver and explains the (poor) performance."

A shaky performance from US President Joe Biden in his latest TV debate against Donald Trump has just ratcheted November's US election uncertainty up substantially.

There's also a general election in Britain on July 4 although there aren't expected to be many market fireworks despite it being almost certainly the first change of government in 14 years.

Polar Capital fund manager Georgina Hamilton explained that was because unlike in France and the US, the two main candidates to lead the UK are fairly centrist.



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