TORONTO--(BUSINESS WIRE)--May 2, 2019--
Canadian defined benefit plans posted positive returns in the first
quarter of 2019, according to data from the Northern Trust Canada
Universe. Global equities rebounded following a volatile end to 2018 as
the U.S. Federal Reserve, amid signs of a slowing global economy,
reversed its position and signaled there would be no further rate hikes
“The U.S. Federal Reserve acted as a catalyst to the rebound by taking a
dovish position on its monetary policy, allowing global equity markets
to rise,” said Arti Sharma, President and CEO of Northern Trust Canada.
“Constructive trade talks between the U.S. and China further fueled
investor confidence. Against this backdrop, Canadian plans posted a
median return of 7.3 percent in the first quarter of 2019, versus the
previous quarter return of -3.5 percent.”
The Northern Trust Canada Universe tracks the performance of Canadian
institutional investment plans that subscribe to performance measurement
services as part of Northern Trust’s asset servicing offerings.
Canadian Equities as measured by the S&P/TSX Composite Index posted a
return of 13.3 percent in the first quarter. All sectors achieved
positive returns with Health Care leading the gains with a return of
49.1 percent for the quarter. The strong gain in the Health Care sector
is attributed to the rally in Cannabis stocks which had ended the prior
year on a negative note. While weakness in Canada’s Energy sector
continues to persist, Alberta’s mandatory production cuts assisted the
Energy sector to record a gain of 15.6 per cent in the first quarter.
U.S. equity markets also saw a lift in the first quarter, with the S&P
500 Index recording a return of 11.2 percent in CAD. Six of the eleven
sectors in the S&P 500 Index posted double digit returns. Information
Technology was the top performing sector with a return of 17.2 percent
performing at its highest level since 2012.
The MSCI EAFE Index, which measures the performance of international
developed markets, returned 7.7 percent in CAD in the first quarter. The
European Central Bank (ECB), reacting to a Europe-wide economic slowdown
and continued geopolitical uncertainties, is expected to keep rates at
current levels until the end of 2019. As with the U.S. equity market,
Information Technology led the gains with a return of 12.9 per cent in
While the MSCI Emerging Market index returned 7.6 per cent in CAD, weak
macroeconomic data in Europe and China, and volatility in the Turkish
Lira renewed pressure of a possible contagion effect and weighed against
the market outlook.
The Bank of Canada lowered growth and inflation forecasts in January and
kept rates at 1.75 per cent through the first quarter of 2019. FTSE
Canada Universe achieved a 3.9 per cent return in the first quarter.
Long term bonds recorded the larger gains than shorter term issues and
Provincial and Corporate bonds outperformed their Federal counterparts.
Northern Trust – Canada
A global leader in institutional financial services, our exclusive focus
in Canada is on providing asset servicing and asset management solutions
to institutional asset owners, investment managers, foundations and
endowments. We combine regional insights with a global breadth of
capabilities to support your needs.
Northern Trust Canada has been successfully servicing clients for over
30 years – including pension funds, investment managers, insurance
companies, government agencies and corporations. Our rich heritage and
intricate understanding of the region allows us to provide unique
insights and strategic perspectives to our clients. Visit northerntrust.com/canada
to learn more.
Northern Trust Canada Office: 145 King Street West, Suite 1910, Toronto,
Ontario, Canada M5H 1J8.
About Northern Trust
Northern Trust Corporation (Nasdaq: NTRS) is a leading provider of
wealth management, asset servicing, asset management and banking to
corporations, institutions, affluent families and individuals. Founded
in Chicago in 1889, Northern Trust has a global presence with offices in
20 U.S. states and Washington, D.C., and across 23 locations in Canada,
Europe, the Middle East and the Asia-Pacific region. As of March 31,
2019, Northern Trust had assets under custody/administration of US$10.9
trillion, and assets under management of US$1.2 trillion. For more than
125 years, Northern Trust has earned distinction as an industry leader
for exceptional service, financial expertise, integrity and innovation.
or follow us on Twitter @NorthernTrust.
Northern Trust Corporation, Head Office: 50 South La Salle Street,
Chicago, Illinois 60603 U.S.A., incorporated with limited liability in
the U.S. Global legal and regulatory information can be found at http://www.northerntrust.com/disclosures.
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