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Portfolio Manager’s January comment For Q4 2019

By January 10, 2020 No Comments

Global equities ended the year with a bang! The S&P/TSX Composite Total Return Index increased by 3.2% in Q4 adding to this years’ gains for a total return of 22.9% in 2019. During Q4, the S&P500 produced an 8.5% return for an annual total return of 28.9% while the MSCI ACWI ex US posted a 9.0% return leading to a 22.1% YTD total return.
There was a number of drivers behind this strong finish. Firstly, most company’s results were inline or better than expected, secondly central banks have maintained a dovish tone, and finally the year ended with a phase one agreement between the US and China.
In Canada, the best Q4 sectors were Info-Tech up 10.7% and Materials up 7.4%, the worst sector was Healthcare down 6.0%. For the year, Info-Tech and Utilities were the top performers up 63.5% and 31.6%, respectively, while Healthcare was the weakest on, down 11.4%.
NQICA in Q4 returned 2.5% leading to an annual total return of 24.1% versus the S&P/TSX TR composite which returned 3.2% in Q4 and 22.9% YTD.
The worst performers in the NQICA in Q4 were Gildan Activewear (GIL) with a return of -18.1%, due to lower than expected results, and Metro (MRU) with a -7.8% return. On the other hand, the best performers were Parex up 19.0%, due to excellent results and new field discoveries, and National Bank up 10.4% on the back of an excellent Q4.