Despite the stress in March, the markets in Europe developed comparatively better throughout the 1st quarter than stock exchanges in Asia and the US (except for the Nasdaq). Europe’s strong performance can be ascribed to lower valuations, surprisingly robust economic data and a different, more defensive composition of indices. In a time of heightened uncertainty in the financial system, the proven winners were gold, good stocks, government bonds and Bitcoin. Movements in the currency pairs EUR/USD, USD/CHF and EUR/CHF were moderate, showing fluctuations of up to 5% despite the stress in the markets. Cryptocurrencies had the best performance in the first quarter. Bitcoin gained 72.4%, while Ethereum gained 52.4%. Only very few market participants expected this at the beginning of the year, and some large players in the crypto market also had to file for bankruptcy.
Read more in the Strategy Update from the first quarter 2023.
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