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After remarkable gains for global stocks and bonds in 2017, markets have struggled to eke out further gains in the first four months of 2018. As we expected, valuations have contracted in equities, with fixed income and cash offering more competitive returns as yields rise. This will be an ongoing challenge for the valuation of all financial assets looking forward. Meanwhile, potential disruptions to global trade would likely have a larger impact on affected company profits than broad measures of economic growth. However, we now have to question views in financial markets that seem to spin fundamental reality in a way to explain short-term performance.