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Market Insights March 2024

March 12, 2024
Harvest News
Pictet Short-Term Money Market Fund

Current Topics in Markets

As inflation eases across the developed world and the US economy in particular staying relatively robust, the markets are increasingly optimistic about a goldilocks outcome in 2024 involving falling interest rates, steady earnings growth and a mild recession at worst. While we feel that this optimism is somewhat overdone, it is clearly reflected in the performance of most of the world’s equity markets year to date. In our view central banks will be slow to reverse the interest rate increases of the past two years for fear of inflation making a comeback. In addition, the rate increases have not had their full impact yet in economic terms and a recession certainly cannot be ruled out for 2024 or even 2025.

On top of what is happening with economies, the global geopolitical picture is anything but rosy. We have two major war situations which look like they will drag on and may well escalate, we have serious trade tensions between China and the US and we have a US presidential election with a very uncertain outcome. Financial markets are far from immune to any of these events.

However, while we continue to advocate caution, there is plenty of value in all of the major asset classes and for investors with a long term view, it would be very wrong to be excessively cautious. Building sensible well diversified portfolios comprised of holdings with a high probability of delivering real returns over time is still the right advice for investors.

equity markets March 2024

Equity Markets

As most are aware, 2023 was the year of the ‘Magnificent 7’, the seven global tech titans which drove markets upwards through the year. This will most certainly not be repeated in 2024. Three of these seven stocks are in negative territory year to date, with Tesla down a chunky 24%. As the year progresses, we could well start hearing about the ‘fantastic 5’ or even the ‘titanic 3’ as the relative valuations of a number of these companies continue to ease downwards. We believe, however, that technology will continue to be a strong performer and we are encouraging clients to take on exposure to particular themes such as Cloud Computing (a very direct beneficiary of the growth in AI) and Cybersecurity (global demand for cybersecurity recently enhanced by growing needs from the world’s military). Other themes which look undervalued currently relative to their growth prospects include Healthcare and ESG. Fundamentally, we continue to favour value and quality over highly rated growth companies.

equity markets march 2024


While yields have fallen a little from their highs on the back of interest rate expectations, the value case for bonds still looks very convincing. We would still avoid the riskier end of the bond spectrum as company default levels could rise in the event of economic deterioration but there is clear value to be had without exposure to excessive risk and we are continuing to encourage clients to carry a material bond exposure in their portfolios.


Property remains the great unloved sector at the moment and most listed property vehicles are currently trading at very significant discounts to the value of their assets. While we share the market’s concern in relation to Office and Retail, the negative sentiment has been very broad brush in its implementation and has been applied to numerous subsectors where the dynamic looks very supportive. Our fund pick this month is one such example. Tritax Eurobox invests in logistics and industrial properties for which demand from occupants remains strong. Their properties are fully let on long term leases, many of which are index-linked.


As a result of the significant income element in their returns, the increase in interest rates led to a fall in the value of many alternative assets in areas such as infrastructure and renewable energy. This trend is likely to reverse over the coming years as the interest rates cycle turns downwards again. While investors in these asset classes await this upturn, they can benefit from reliable high single digit yields.

Our Fund in Focus for March 2024 is – Tritax Eurobox Plc

As always, you should only consider the investment views contained in this February Market Insights update in the context of your own attitude to risk and how such choices might impact your Asset Allocation model. Should you wish to discuss your investment portfolio, please contact Harvest Financial Services on 01 2375500 or email

This marketing information has been provided for discussion purposes only. It is not advice and does not take into account the investment needs and objectives, financial position, risk attitude, liquidity needs, capital security needs and/or capacity for loss of any particular person. It should not be relied upon to make investment decisions.
Warning: The return may increase or decrease as a result of currency fluctuations.
Warning: The figures refer to the past. Past performance is not a reliable indicator of future results.
Warning: The value of your investment may go down as well as up. You may get back less than you invest.
Warning: The income you get from this investment may go down as well as up.