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While we may have started 2019 optimistically – hoping Brexit would finally be resolved – as we reach the half-way point of the year, it continues to cause economic, political and stock market uncertainty in the UK.
Meanwhile, the major issues for global stock markets also continue to be the US/China trade war and US interest rate policy. The latter is really the only aspect that has changed in the past six months, as the US central bank has moved from implied interest rate rises to interest rate cuts. As a result, however, almost every single asset class and geography has rallied strongly in the first six months of the year.
The best performing Elite Rated and Radar funds so far this year are dominated by US, European and global equities. However, top of the pack over the first six months of 2019 is Smith & Williamson Artificial Intelligence, which has returned just under 30%* for investors.
The top ten best performers are shown in the table below.
|Rank||Fund or Trust||Mid-year returns|
|1||Smith & Williamson Artificial Intelligence||29.54%|
|2||Jupiter European Opportunities||27.69%|
|3||AXA Framlington American Growth||27.59%|
|4||AXA Framlington Global Technology||27.38%|
|5||Baillie Gifford Global Discovery||25.00%|
|6||BlackRock European Dynamic||23.90%|
|7||Threadneedle European Select||23.45%|
|8||Lazard US Equity Concentrated||23.22%|
|9||Rathbone Global Opportunities||23.17%|
|10||T. Rowe Price Global Focused Growth Equity||21.63%|
As we head into the second half of the year, ‘new resolutions’ will be key to what asset classes continue to perform well: resolution of trade wars should help Asian and Japanese stock markets rebound, while resolution of Brexit should help British companies, which remain very much out of favour. Whether we get those resolutions, especially in that time scale, remains to be seen.