Equity Markets Surge in Q1 2024: Key Contributors and Detractors Revealed!

Chicago, Illinois – The global equity markets showed strength in the first quarter of 2024, with the U.S. and Europe benefiting from excitement surrounding artificial intelligence, positive economic data, and expectations for central bank rate cuts. Throughout the quarter, U.S. equities hit new highs, Japanese stocks continued to rise, and Chinese equities saw a recovery from previous pressures. Central banks in the U.S., U.K., Europe, and Japan held meetings in March, with varying decisions on interest rates to monitor economic data.

The portfolio returned 0.65% (net) during the reporting period, compared to the MSCI World ex USA Small Cap Index’s 2.58% return for the same period. Top contributors to the portfolio during the quarter included DS Smith, Konecranes, and Megacable Holdings, each experiencing positive developments in their respective industries.

On the flip side, St. James’s Place, Grifols, and Nexi were among the top detractors during the quarter, facing challenges in their operations and stock performance. Despite setbacks, investors remain optimistic about the long-term prospects of these companies.

Portfolio positioning saw the initiation of positions in TIS, Inc. and Fielmann, as well as the elimination of Applus Services and Vitesco Technologies Group. Each decision was based on thorough analysis and alignment with the investment strategy of seeking businesses with growth potential and strong management teams.

Looking ahead, the focus remains on fundamental analysis at the company level, aiming to invest in undervalued businesses with growth potential and owner-oriented management teams. The approach is geared towards sustainable, long-term success while navigating the ever-evolving global market environment.