Global markets added to last months' gains, with modestly higher oil prices providing some lift. This has benefitted our TSX Composite Index, given the higher weighting oil companies represent on our exchange. No consensus has been reached for limiting production, so investors are moving ahead of actual decisions by OPEC and other oilproducing countries. This may mean a further pull-back from current levels in the low to middle $30 range.
Economic fundamentals remain mixed, with developed countries continuing the dual strategy of maintaining interest rates at record lows, while further stimulating domestic economies through deficit spending. The jury is out as to whether this will actually increase growth rates in the short term, or just saddle tax payers with larger interest payments going forward and in doing so, lowering growth rates longer term. Our view is the later, but then we're of the countervailing view that countries can't borrow their way to prosperity (look at Greece).
March will finish sooner than later, giving investors a chance to pause and look back on Q1 to see where they stand. Our portfolio allocations remain defensively positioned, hedging against anticipated swings in the markets that the next three weeks will likely bring. Look forward to speaking with you after the dust settles on the first quarter of this year.