Mankind invented a system to cope with the fact that we are so intrinsically lousy at manipulating numbers. It's called the graph.
- After markets seemed to stabilize last week, the escalation in Ukraine triggered a strong sell-off in Europe and Asia this week. Implied volatility of European equities surged to almost 50 amidst a jump in oil prices and pronounced safe-haven flows.
- Gold demonstrated its strength as a safe asset, and the CHF is trading close to parity against the EUR.
- Government bonds also profited from the risk-off move this week, but given another surge in inflation and oil prices, it may be too optimistic to expect central banks to hold off for longer now.
- There is a notable divide between Europe and the U.S. now as risk assets on the other side of the Atlantic held up well, driven by the solid performance of the energy sector, financials, and utilities. Beyond that, Value and Low Volatility inched slightly higher as the sell-off was driven by Quality and Momentum stocks.
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