Courtiers Wealth Management
Courtiers Wealth Management

News & Insights

March 2024 – Market Update 


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February was a broadly positive month for equities, with China rebounding from its slump at the start of the year and the US market reaching new highs amidst a bumper earnings season.

The UK market continued to lag, despite inflation for January coming in slightly lower than expected at 4%. The latest economic data from the ONS showed that the UK entered a technical recession at the end of last year as its GDP declined 0.1% in Q4 2023 following a 0.3% drop in Q3 2023.

Nvidia, the AI chip producer, overtook Amazon to become the third largest company in the S&P 500 behind Microsoft and Apple as it published record earnings. Despite the increase in its bottom line, its price-to-earnings (P/E) ratio, namely the ratio of its market value to its annual earnings, remains very high at over 70. In comparison, the FTSE 100 index, which tracks the largest UK companies, has a P/E ratio of just over 10.

“The UK is currently seven times cheaper than Nvidia in terms of its earnings.” – James Timpson, Fund Manager, Courtiers Multi-Asset Funds

Full round-up of February market performance

In the UK, the FTSE 100 index gained 0.45% while medium and smaller companies, measured by the FTSE 250 ex IT index and the FTSE Small Cap ex IT index respectively, dropped 2.14% and 1.43%. In the US, the S&P 500 USD index gained 5.34% while in Europe the Eurostoxx 50 EUR index climbed 5.08%. Japanese stocks measured by the Topix JPY index rallied 4.93%.

Emerging markets returns were mostly positive, with the MSCI Emerging Markets index rising 5.11% in local currency terms. Latin American equities, measured by the MSCI Latin America local currency index, rose 0.17% while Indian stocks measured by the Nifty 50 INR index gathered 1.18%. Chinese stocks measured by the MSCI China CNY index jumped 8.59%.

In the fixed income market, UK government bonds, measured by the FTSE Gilts All Stocks index, declined 1.11% with long dated (over 15 years to maturity) gilts falling 1.29%. Sterling denominated corporate bonds, measured by the Markit iBoxx Sterling Corporates index, slipped 0.64%. In the high yield market, the Bank of America Merrill Lynch Sterling High Yield index grew 0.70%.

In the commodities market, the S&P GSCI USD index, which consists of a basket of commodities including oil, metals and agricultural items, rose 0.87%. Brent crude oil futures amassed 3.18% during the month. In the precious metals markets, the S&P GSCI Gold and Silver indices dropped 0.19% and 1.74% in USD respectively, while in the agricultural markets as corn and wheat futures dipped 7.25% and 2.98% in USD respectively.

In the currency markets, it was a mixed month for the pound as it depreciated 0.50% versus the US dollar and 0.38% against the euro but gained 1.57% versus the yen.

Important information

Past performance is not a reliable indicator of future returns. The value of investments, and the income from them, can go down as well as up and is not guaranteed and you may not get back the amount originally invested. Any forecast, projection or target where provided is indicate only and is not guaranteed in any way. Certain types of funds might carry a greater investment risk than other investment funds. Further details of the risks are associated with investing in Courtiers funds can be found in the Key Investor Information Document or Prospectus, copies of which are available on request or at


This communication is for information purposes only and should not be relied upon in making an investment decision. The views expressed by individuals and the business are based on market conditions at the date of issue and are subject to change without notice. The mention of any stocks or shares should not be taken as recommendation to deal and does not take into account the individual investor’s investment objective or risk profile. Where an investment or security is denominated in a different currency to the investor’s currency of reference, changes in rates of exchange may have an adverse effect on the value, price or income of or from that investment to the investor. Any third party sites, or pages which are linked to the document, have not been reviewed by us and therefore we accept no responsibility for the authors or content of external link or pages. If you are interested in any of Courtiers Asset Management Limited’s range of funds, or require any financial advice, please speak to a financial adviser.

Issued by Courtiers Asset Management Limited, CAM0423913. Courtiers Asset Management Limited is Authorised and Regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority – Register No: 616322. Address: 18 Hart Street, Henley on Thames, Oxfordshire RG9 2AU. Tel: 01491 578368.

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